Wolverhampton is once again supporting the United Nations' annual 16 day Orange the World campaign, which began last week, with businesses, community groups and individuals urged to "Orange Wolverhampton”.
In doing so, they are helping to raise awareness of Wolverhampton’s drive to end gender-based violence, primarily committed against women and girls, including domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and sexual violence – as well as the support available to victims in Wolverhampton.
And politicians are also throwing their weight behind the campaign. Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and of the council’s Labour Group, said: "The Orange Wolverhampton campaign is a vitally important way in which we can all highlight the issue of interpersonal violence, and the help and support that is available to victims.
"These abhorrent crimes range from domestic and sexual abuse to female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence, stalking and harassment.
“We want people to be aware of the issues and to seek help, either for themselves or for a friend or relative who may be suffering at the hands of another. I would encourage everyone in our city to get involved and join us in helping to Orange Wolverhampton."
Councillor Wendy Thompson, leader of the Conservative Group on the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "The Conservative Group very much supports the Orange Wolverhampton campaign and we hope that everybody will take this opportunity to get involved and help stop violence against women and girls.
"This is a worldwide issue, and it's important for us locally to get behind this really important campaign."
Wolverhampton South West MP Stuart Anderson said: "I am proud to be supporting Orange Wolverhampton, a campaign that is running to raise awareness for victims of interpersonal violence – and the support that is available within our city.
"I, along with thousands of others, believe that this campaign is vitally important. Spreading the message that support is available for people irrespective of their sex and making potential victims aware of the mixture of online and in-person events taking place could save lives.
"The term interpersonal violence covers many areas, so taking part as an organisation, community group or individual and raising awareness could touch many people’s lives.
"You can get involved and find out more about the events being held at Orange Wolves, and for victims – there is help available, you do not need to suffer in silence. Interpersonal violence is an abhorrent stain on our city. Let’s work together to turn Wolverhampton Orange."
Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden added: “This year, I will once again be supporting the Orange Wolverhampton campaign.
“It’s our local campaign in support of the United Nations' 16 days of action against interpersonal violence and violence against women and girls. I’m a father of a son and a daughter and I want my daughter to grow up with the same chances and safety as my son has. I hope you will support the campaign too.”
And Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson added: “I am supporting the Orange Wolverhampton campaign once again this year, to highlight the importance of ending domestic abuse. This comes at a time when the pandemic and lockdowns have made us much more aware of issues such as forced marriages, sexual violence and harassment.
"The Government has recently launched its strategy to tackle violence against women and girls and, combined with the Orange Wolverhampton campaign, I hope we can make a difference and work together to end these awful crimes.”
The Orange Wolverhampton campaign is coordinated by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together, the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and the City of Wolverhampton Council, and is held annually between 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10 December, UN Human Rights Day.
The Safer Wolverhampton Partnership has chosen to use the term 'interpersonal violence' to clarify that these crimes will be robustly tackled regardless of the sex of the victim, though the campaign recognises that the majority of victims are female.
For more information and to sign up to this year’s campaign, please visit Orange Wolves.
Anyone suffering from domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence or sexual violence, 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 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 2pm)
- Haven online Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 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.