Two trees were planted in Castle Park yesterday to commemorate the victims of domestic and sexual violence. It’s the start of a new campaign designed to encourage victims of domestic and sexual violence to get help and support.
On average two women die every year in Leicester and Leicestershire at the hands of a violent partner. Nationally this figure is two women a week. The campaign called ‘How Many Times’, has been created with the input of survivors of violence and responds to national research that shows women will experience 36 incidents of abuse before seeking help.
The trees were planted by Leicester’s City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Sir Clive Loader, as well as family members of two Leicester women who were killed by violent partners, and Alison Morley from Enable, the organisation that provides Leicester’s domestic violence support service.
The campaign has been Funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader, the campaign is being led by Safer Leicester Partnership, which is made up of local agencies, including the city council, police, fire and rescue and victim and witness support services.
Sir Clive Loader said: “Part of my job is to protect the vulnerable, which is why I provided the funding to help tackle this dreadful crime. It is a sad fact that on average a woman can be assaulted 36 times before she decides to call the police; I want to help put that right and urge them to come forward sooner.
“I am prepared to accept a rise in the reporting of domestic violence and sexual abuse, as I know that that means we have given people the confidence to come forward.
Sir Peter Soulsby said: “This issue affects people across all communities in Leicester. The city council has continued to make the funding of domestic violence services a priority, but tackling this serious problem requires a huge and sustained commitment, so I am very pleased that all of the key agencies have come together to give this.”
“I hope that, by working in partnership, we can encourage more victims to report the abuse they are facing by providing them with the support they need.”
Other activities taking place this week include the release of a specially-commissioned film that illustrates the role of friends and families in stopping abuse. Leicester-born actress Nita Mistry lent her support by playing the lead role in the film.
Confidential advice and support is available on the following numbers:
Domestic violence 0300 123 0918
Sexual violence 0300 333 6533
Domestic violence (Rutland residents) 0300 365 0112
Domestic abuse (county residents) 0300 303 1844.