Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Crompton Place Shopping Centre and local charity Paws for Kids are joining forces to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.
On November 25, Paws for Kids will be opening a pop-up shop in Crompton Place Shopping Centre, which will remain open until December 21st. Paws for Kids is a local charity which works with high risk victims of domestic abuse, offers a safe haven for these victims and offers a temporary fostering service for pets of these victims.
The shop will promote awareness of domestic abuse, offer advice and support to victims of domestic violence or those who may have witnessed it and wish to report it. It will also provide a display space for several art projects around the theme of domestic violence.
One of these art projects is ‘These Hands are Not For Hurting’, a project on which Bolton Council has worked with young men across Bolton as part of the White Ribbon campaign, which encourages men to take a stand against violence to women. The young men have been encouraged to print their hands onto T-shirts and display them on a clothesline, as a symbol of their resistance to domestic violence and their intention of never committing it themselves.
Another art project which will be displayed in the shop is ‘Beyond the Mask’, which has been developed by Bolton at Home and is a series of masks drawn by women around the theme of the masks which we hide behind.
November 25 is also White Ribbon Day, which is part of a movement run by men to eradicate violence against women and Bolton Council will be distributing white ribbons to all male councillors to wear on this day, which will also be supported by the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton.
November 25 also marks the start of ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’, which runs from November 25 to December 10 and seeks to raise awareness of gender violence as a human rights issue. Bolton at Home, supported by Bolton Council is also running a series of workshops throughout the 16 Days, aimed at helping women build confidence and try out a new skill.
Councillor Derek Burrows, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Violence against women is completely unacceptable and we are working with our partners to end it completely. We hope that the White Ribbon Campaign will encourage more men to condemn domestic violence and take a stand against it, whilst the support and advice provided by the pop-up shop will hopefully encourage more women to come forward and report domestic violence and receive the appropriate support.”
Caroline Tosal-Suprun, community development officer and women’s worker for Bolton at Home, said: “Violence against women is a global and societal problem affecting women and girls form all cultures and backgrounds. The events and workshops we are holding are all about giving women a voice, showing solidarity, and being part of a wider support network.”
Carole Marsden Project Manager from Paws for Kids said: “Paws for Kids helps local people and their pets escape violence and abuse. We rely heavily on the generosity of the local community and individuals who donate what they can to help people and their beloved pets build a brighter future. The Christmas pop-up shop will not only help us to raise money but it will also raise awareness of the help available in Bolton for families experiencing domestic violence.
“It is also a perfect hub for the work we will be doing in connection with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign and I would urge shoppers to also come and see the mask display we will have here as well as making the most of all the great things we have on offer to buy here.”