IN light of the Me Too campaign, which raised awareness about how women are abused across the world, Women’s Aid Manchester have expressed their concerns about women being too scared to speak out about being a victim of domestic abuse.
Between January and September this year, 105 women have been murdered by men. This means that a woman is killed by a man, whether it be a husband, ex partner or brother, every 2.7 days in the UK.
Elaine De Fries is the operational manager for Women’s Aid, and has raised her concerns about the shame women feel if they’ve been a victim of domestic abuse or violence, as they may feel like it’s their fault.
“Women are, for the most part, smaller and weaker than men. They’re not protected well in the law. When we talk about things that have happened to victims, we’re constantly telling the victims to protect themselves. There’s no wonder they don’t want to speakup,” says Elaine.
A shocking one in four women have experienced domestic abuse at some point in their lives in the UK, as well as one in five women, aged 16-49, have experienced some form of domestic violence.
In Manchester last year, 452 women attended the Women’s aid drop in sessions, the year before that, it was half that, with 220 people attending. With the right awareness raised, Elaine believes the numbers could rise.
The Dead Women Walking march happens in Manchester city centre every year, and is one of the events the charity organises to get the message out there. Over 50 women gather in Piccadilly Gardens, wearing bright red ponchos with the quote ‘Dead Women Walking’ on the back – remembering the women that have been killed.
During the march, the names and ages of the 105 women who’ve lost their lives, are called out through a megaphone. Claire Moore, the organiser of the march, believes that the names of the women are rarely named, as the focus is on the male and their background.
“We have to find a way of reaching women, and stop these domestic violence murders. We can prevent them. These women should be walking with us today. We need to help women recognise that they’re a victim and give them the best services to help them,” says Claire.
The march ended with a banner being held up in Piccadilly Gardens, with the names of all 105 women that lost their lives.