We know that domestic abuse is devastatingly common: 1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year, though that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as so many women don’t report abuse due to fear or the worry they’ll be judged or not believed. With three women being killed a fortnight by a current or ex-partner, so much needs to change before women are safe.
Come Together to End Domestic Abuse is the Women’s Aid 50th birthday campaign – the organisation will celebrate its 50th in 2024, and we are launching this year to demonstrate how we can make a difference if we come together across society and across communities to do what we can.
We know that there is no silver bullet or magic wand that will solve the significant societal issue that is domestic abuse – as experts working in this for nearly half a century, we know that is the reality. Domestic abuse affects people throughout society and at every stage of life – what we need is for people to come together, to step up, and do what they can do in their communities and workplaces to end domestic abuse. And we need to reach all women and children, and ensure we are as accessible as possible in our work. As Women’s Aid heads towards its 50th birthday, we are asking everyone if they will Come Together to End Domestic Abuse; women, men and young people together.
The campaign will launch on 5th July with our patron Mel B, who recently was awarded an MBE for her services to vulnerable women and charity, and Dame Julie Walters. Mel will set out her “charter for survivors” as part of the campaign.
The campaign will measure attitudinal change and provide evidence for what we need to change, as well as the reach of the campaign during the coming two years.
We will present the campaign at our national conference in July to our members across England, who consist of just under 170 local domestic abuse organisations, providing refuges, helplines and domestic abuse services in the community across the country.
Will you Come Together and donate today?
We’re asking everyone to Come Together to End Domestic Abuse; we cannot do this without your support. Your donations allow us to provide life-saving services to survivors. Services where they are given a space to be heard and believed.
Melanie Brown MBE, Patron of Women’s Aid said:
Today, as we launch our campaign Come Together to End Domestic Abuse, I want to ask people to step up and think about what they can do to end domestic abuse, and challenge the attitudes that make people think it is acceptable. I know what it is like to experience coercive control, and I can promise you that I will do everything I can on behalf of other survivors who may not be able to safely speak out. I really believe that everyone –teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, friends and relatives of survivors – has a role to play in ending abuse, whether it is directly helping people, or by stopping the myths and victim-blaming – and you can do that wherever you are.
Everyone needs to understand what coercive control is. Only since 2015, when the coercive control law was introduced in England and Wales, are we starting to realise how common it is in abusive relationships. For me, talking about my experiences has meant that I no longer feel guilt and shame, but healing and confidence, because I know I can help others.
Domestic abuse happens across society, which means we have to stand up together and call it out – help survivors now, raise awareness to save lives and raise money where we can. We have to keep these lifesaving services going. I know how much Women’s Aid has helped me, and I will do everything in my power to bring people together on an issue that couldn’t be closer to my heart.”
Dame Julie Walters, Patron of Women’s Aid said:
“I am proud to help launch the Come Together to End Domestic Abuse campaign, because there is not a single campaign or single action that will change what the future looks like. It is what we do together that will really make the changes we need, so that the future looks different for young people entering relationships for the first time. I ask everyone to think: is there something I could do, no matter how big or how small, to help create a world where domestic abuse isn’t tolerated? Look at our suggestions of what people can do, and do tell us about the brilliant things many of you are already doing. As we move towards the anniversary of 50 years of Women’s Aid being a federation in England, and the national heartbeat representing so many local domestic abuse organisations, I hope we can all step up, speak out and be part of the change that we need to see.”
5 things everyone can do:
1. Make a change where you are – workplace, school, sports club – is there a domestic abuse policy? Is there a poster in the bathroom or in communal spaces on how to get help? Has anyone had domestic abuse training? How about nominating Women’s Aid training in your workplace? For more information, contact our fundraising team on [email protected].
2. Dispel myths about domestic abuse and challenge sexism – domestic abuse doesn’t happen because you provoked them, and it isn’t your fault if you are being abused by your partner – sexist attitudes to women’s roles and men’s role must be challenged to end domestic abuse.
3. Take action, your voice counts – join campaigns for better protection for survivors or fundraise to enable us to make a change. You can put on an event or take part in a challenge. You can also donate to Women’s Aid here or your local member organisations find yours here
4. Learn what to say to someone experiencing abuse – understand the reasons why it may not be easy to just leave.
5. Speak Up – show we are standing up against domestic abuse together, send use photos and stories about what you are doing in your local area or online to help stop domestic abuse and support survivors. We want to show positive examples of how we can make a difference to encourage others to join with us.
Download our Campaigner Toolkit
We’ve created this toolkit to help you do 5 simple, but important things to help us end domestic abuse.
Download and share our campaign poster
Support the campaign by downloading and sharing our free Come Together To End Domestic Abuse poster.
We are also asking people to share their pictures of hands, like our logo, coming together as they take an action to end domestic abuse, using the hashtag #EndAbuseTogether. We want people to show, anonymously if they need to for their safety, how people are coming together to end domestic abuse.
#Sign up to our 1.6 fundraising challenge
As part of our Come Together to End Domestic Abuse campaign, we’re launching our annual 1.6 fundraising challenge! We are asking you to come together with your friends, family or colleagues to move 1.6 miles a day, every day in September for the 1.6 million survivors of domestic abuse every year.