The annual 16 day campaign, running from this Friday until Saturday, 10 December, aims to raise awareness of the city’s continuing drive to end domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, ‘honour based’ violence, sexual violence and stalking and harassment.
At the same time, it will highlight the help and support that is available to victims from local and national organisations such as The Haven, St George's Hub, Karma Nirvana and the City of Wolverhampton Council.
Residents, businesses, schools, faith groups, charities and other organisations are once again being encouraged to 'Orange Wolverhampton’ so that, together, the city can say ‘No’ to interpersonal violence.
The campaign runs from Friday 25 November, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, UN Human Rights Day, and supports the UN Orange the World campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Wolverhampton’s 16 days of activism officially begins with a flag raising ceremony outside the Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, at 10am this Friday, followed by an awareness raising walk across the city centre.
The Orange Wolverhampton pop-up stand will return to the Mander Centre on Monday and Tuesday (28 and 29 November) from 10am to 4.30pm, with shoppers invited to find out more about the campaign, and the help and support available to people in Wolverhampton.
The Sisterhood of Women and Interfaith Wolverhampton are holding an awareness raising event in the Mayoral Suite at the Civic Centre on Monday (28 November), booking is required.
St George's Hub will be holding an online workshop for male victims of domestic abuse next Wednesday 30 November, and the same organisation is holding an Orange Coffee Morning at Central Library next Thursday 1 December from 11am.
There will be a further information session on the ground floor of the Civic Centre on Monday 5 December from 9am to 4.30pm.
A programme of Lunch & Learn sessions will be delivered across the campaign by a number of local organisations on a range of topics, including domestic abuse and older people, female genital mutilation, harmful behaviours, rape and sexual violence and domestic abuse in the deaf community.
Meanwhile, people taking part in the weekly Saturday morning Wolverhampton Parkruns at West Park and East Park are invited to wear something orange on 26 November and 3 and 10 December.
Finally, this year's campaign will come to an end with an invitation for individuals, as well as groups of family, friends or colleagues, to walk from their chosen starting point just inside the ring road and converge on St Peter’s Square outside the Civic Centre, for the lowering of the Orange flag on Saturday 10 December at 4.30pm.
Once everyone has gathered and before the flag is lowered there will be a minute’s silence in memory of all the lives lost to, or affected by, all the crimes associated with violence against women and girls, whilst also remembering that boys and men, people in same sex couples and transgender people are also affected by these crimes. The silence will be followed by a shared pledge to continue to work together to end such violence and to continue to offer support to survivors.
As always, scores of organisations across Wolverhampton will be taking part in this year’s campaign in a range of different ways, from holding ‘wear orange’ days, encouraging staff and customers to wear orange pin badges, by turning their websites, social media channels or buildings orange, and sharing key messages about the campaign with staff, customers and service users.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Orange Wolverhampton campaign is a great way for us to all say ‘no’ to interpersonal violence and help raise awareness of the help and support available to victims and survivors in Wolverhampton.
“We’re hoping that thousands of people will get involved again this year, perhaps by holding or joining one of the many events that will be taking place across the city, such as Friday’s flag raising ceremony, or visiting the Orange Wolverhampton pop-up stand in the Mander Centre next week.”
The Orange Wolverhampton campaign is coordinated by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together, the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, Wolverhampton Voluntary and Community Action, and the council.
For more information and to sign up to this year’s campaign, please visit the Orange Wolverhampton website.
Anyone suffering from or affected by domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour based’ violence, sexual violence, or stalking and harassment (or knows someone who is) should call the relevant helpline:
- The Haven Wolverhampton 24-hour helpline for women - 08000 194400
- Haven Counselling helpline - 08000 308 345 (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Friday 9am to 2pm)
- Haven online Live Chat (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm)
- St George’s Hub support for male victims - 01902 421904
- Karma Nirvana helpline for victims of so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and forced marriage - 0800 5999 247
- Wolverhampton Adult Social Care - 01902 551199
- Wolverhampton Children's Social Care - 01902 555392
- West Midlands Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence Helpline - 0800 953 9777
- National Domestic Violence helpline for women - 0808 2000 247
- National Domestic Violence helpline for men - 0808 8010327
- NSPCC Female Genital Mutilation helpline - 0800 028 3550
- In an emergency, always call police on 999
For more information about the work of Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together, please visit Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together.