Sheringham backs domestic violence campaign with giant ribbon sculpture

Sheringham town councillor and Womens Institute president Liz Withington with the giant white ribbon

Sheringham town councillor and Womens Institute president Liz Withington with the giant white ribbon that has gone on display at the town's library as part of a campaign to highlight the problem of domestic violence. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A sculpture emblazoned with dozens of messages of support for victims of domestic violence has gone on show at Sheringham library before going on a county-wide tour.

From left: Sheringham mayor David Gooch and town councillos Anne Smith, Madeleine Ashcroft and Liz W

From left: Sheringham mayor David Gooch and town councillos Anne Smith, Madeleine Ashcroft and Liz Withington with the giant white ribbon that has gone on display at the town's library as part of a campaign to highlight the problem of domestic violence. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Created by Women's Institute members from all over Norfolk, with contributions from other womens' and mens' organisations and support from Norwich City Council, the 10ft-tall, ribbon-shaped artwork features embroidered, appliquéd, knitted and painted slogans.

Messages featured on a 10 ft-tall white ribbon that has gone on display at Sheringham library as par

Messages featured on a 10 ft-tall white ribbon that has gone on display at Sheringham library as part of a campaign to highlight the problem of domestic violence. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

It was unveiled by Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Greene at the Forum, Norwich, as part of the White Ribbon Campaign, a global movement started more than 30 years ago to protest against violence towards women.

The campaign, which includes a pledge signed by more than 25,000 UK men and thousands more worldwide, aims to raise awareness and educate men about the issues surrounding domestic violence.

Sheringham town councillor and WI president Liz Withington, who was involved in creating the giant ribbon, said that being part of the project had made her realise how widespread the issue is, affecting not just women, but men and those in same sex relationships.


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Of the estimated 1.8million people experiencing domestic abuse in 2016, 1.2 million were women.

And, according to figures from the Crown Prosecution Service, nearly 93,000 people were convicted of domestic abuse the previous year, with women making up just over six per cent of abusers.

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'Everyone of us in society has a responsibility to make it clear that domestic abuse in any form is not acceptable,' Mrs Withington said. 'And I felt it was important in Sheringham that we highlight this issue as although it is hidden, it is very much there and speaking to the police, I know that in the last three months, there have been five incidents of domestic violence where they have been called in the Sheringham area.'

Keen to support the WI-led initiative, Sheringham Town Council has agreed to provide window space for information on domestic abuse.

'The fact that this is in the town council window means people can access information at any time just by walking past which, when someone is in a controlling relationship, could be very helpful,' Mrs Withington said.

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