Balloons launch at Norwich’s The Forum starts domestic abuse campaign

The High Sheriff of Norfolk has today released 50 white balloons into the skies above Norwich as part of a campaign to highlight the issue of domestic violence.

As the paper reported yesterday this week sees the launch of the Norfolk Says No campaign which aims to put the problem of domestic violence in the spotlight.

The Norfolk Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Board's week-long campaign, which fits in with the Evening News's Don't Suffer in Silence campaign, was launched at the Forum by High Sheriff Georgina Holloway.

She released the balloons outside The state-of-the art building which represented the 5000 adults and children that Leeway, a domestic abuse charity, supports every year across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The High Sheriff explained that domestic violence was the chosen theme for her time in the role, something prompted by the stories she heard from midwives of suffering mothers while a non-executive director on the board at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.


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Referring to figures which indicate 200,000 babies are at risk every year because they live in homes where there are abuse and addiction problems, she said:

'These days those figures should not be acceptable, and it's a problem everywhere as it effects men, women, children and everyone and is no respecter of wealth, age, race or religion.

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'However, there's a lot going on to fight it in Norfolk, and there is really good work across the agencies that means they are working together and the left hand knows what the right one is doing.

'I think that it's amazing the work that Leeway do, with the refuges they run and their excellent fundraising, and hopefully this will help spread awareness and make the issue less taboo.'

The Norfolk Says No campaign, which runs until Friday, is a multi-agency effort to raise awareness for domestic violence across Norfolk.

Future plans include a celebration in March at Norwich Castle to thank the High Sheriff for her support and raise funds for the cause, said Leeway's marketing and sustainability officer Rachel Buck.

She went on to add: 'It is all to raise awareness among those suffering that they they don't have to suffer in silence and that there is support available.'

Last year four women in Norfolk were killed by their partner or ex-partner as a part of ongoing domestic abuse, and there were another two attempted murders.

Mandy Proctor is chief executive for the organisation. She said: 'The 'Norfolk Says No' campaign is a crucial time for us to work with other agencies to raise awareness about the shocking domestic violence statistics and show our commitment to providing a service for all victims of domestic abuse across Norfolk and Suffolk.'

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