Merton Council were one of the first London boroughs to support a national campaign against domestic abuse two months ago.
Now, they’ve joined forces with Merton Police to support an international anti-violence and abuse campaign spanning the next 16 days.
The 16 Days of Activism against Violence and Abuse campaign aims to raise awareness of violence such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, hate crime, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Forward, a leading African women’s campaign support organisation, had a stall at Merton Civic Centre to mark the start of the campaign.
“Our focus is on tackling female genital mutilation and child marriage,” said Forward community support worker Mahasin Abu.
“The 16-day campaign is a time for all of us to come together and take action to end violence against women all around the world.”
The event was launched in conjunction with another stall in Mitcham, which will be followed by information days, social media campaigns and theatre performances in Merton over the next 16 days.
Merton Police superintendent Steve Wallace said: “By working in partnership with Merton Council on the 16 Days Against Violence and Abuse campaign, we are hoping to connect with new groups of people and communities to raise awareness and promote the local help available to victims.”
Other events taking place include a stall hosted by Merton Centre for Independent Living in Wimbledon next week, free domestic violence and abuse plays highlighting issues, and stalls at the Baitul Futuh Mosque.
The campaign ends on December 10 which is International Human Rights Day.
The 16-day period also includes other significant dates such as International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (November 29) and World AIDS Day (December 1).
The campaign was launched to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) which has been marked as a day against violence by women’s activists since 1981.
Merton run a One Stop Shop, a confidential service which has drop-in sessions on Mondays at Morden Baptist Church.
For more information and advice go to www.merton.gov.uk/domesticviolence.
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