Bolton residents are being encouraged to get comfortable talking about domestic abuse, as part of a Greater Manchester wide campaign.
The ‘Sitting Right With You’ campaign features imagery of a yellow sofa accompanied by challenging messages to get people thinking differently about what domestic abuse is and encouraging victims to take that first step and ask for help.
One in three women and one in six men experience some form of domestic abuse, but it isn’t only physical violence. Controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go, who they talk to is just as damaging and is abuse.
The yellow sofa which is used in the campaign will be visiting Corporation Street in Bolton on Thursday, December 8 between 10am and 4pm, accompanied by the Key 103 bus to encourage Bolton residents to talk about anything they think may not be right in their relationship or in the relationships of people they know.
Key 103 will be handing out leaflets and information about the campaign and there will also be specially trained staff on hand to speak to anyone who needs support.
The visit from the yellow sofa marks the end of ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’, where Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Paws for Kids, Fortalice and local voluntary groups join forces for a series of exhibitions and events.
On November 25, local action group Endeavour/Paws for Kids launched the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence with a focus on coercive control, looking at the difference made by the new law on coercive control and its effect on domestic violence reports.
‘Seeing Red’ – a radio play which confronts issues around domestic abuse by Melodramatics, a local amateur dramatics group has also been broadcast during the 16 Days on Bolton FM.
YES Matters, a local community action group, have collaborated with the Bolton at Home’s Women’s Group Network on a photo series entitled Smile Luv to raise awareness of domestic abuse. Images accompanied by a statistic about domestic abuse have been released each day of the 16 Days campaign.
Finally, Yes Matters will also lead a ‘Reclaim the Streets’ March on Thursday, December 8 to highlight women’s right to be free from sexual harassment and right to safety. This march will leave from the Chancellors Mall entrance from the University of Bolton at 5pm. Anyone is welcome to join in and support the cause. The march will end with a balloon release for victims of domestic abuse.
Councillor Derek Burrows, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Bolton Council said: “Violence against women is completely unacceptable and we are working with our partners to end it completely. We hope that the Sitting Right With You Campaign and the other events taking place as part of the 16 Days will encourage raise awareness and give people the confidence to come forward, report abuse, seek support and help us as we endeavour to ensure that people can live lives free from domestic abuse.”
Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd added: “Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families –tragically sometimes taking a life. With this campaign we want to empower people to take a hard look at their own or a loved one’s relationship and, if it doesn’t sit right with you, make that first step to get advice and support.”
Follow the conversation at #SittingRightWithYou or visit www.sittingrightwithyou.co.uk to find out more.
If you or someone you care about has been affected by domestic abuse, contact the Greater Manchester domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525.