A Guest Post from Marianne Whooley.
One of the beauties of Give as you Live is the freedom to change your chosen charity whenever you choose to do so.
Now 6 weeks into my campaign I want to use this opportunity to change my charity, Cancer Research will always be close to my heart and a charity I shall continue to talk about but having a voice is a very important position to be in and I want to share my voice with a charity that has come to my attention recently Women’s Aid, who I met through Avon at their Empowering Awards recently in London.
Women’s Aid focuses on domestic violence and I was shocked to read, ‘Did you know over two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners, and that one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime?’
I am lucky, domestic violence has never been part of my life and I have often been confused as to why these women never left the partners and escape the abuse. But it’s only when you start to read and meet people, listen to their stories that you realise that they are unable to walk away for a whole host of reasons.
This is where Women’s Aid steps in to offer assistance, to offer support, lend courage and self worth to those who’ve had it beaten out of them.
I am a woman and I want to help other women who aren’t as fortunate as me.
So for a few facts:
What is domestic violence?
In Women’s Aid’s view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.
How common is domestic violence?
At least 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 women experience it annually. Less than half of all incidents are reported to the police, but they still receive one domestic violence call every minute in the UK
Who are the victims?
The vast majority of the victims of domestic violence are women and children, and women are also considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence, and sexual abuse. Women may experience domestic violence regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence can also occur in a range of relationships including heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships, and also within extended families.
Why doesn’t she leave?
Whilst the risk of staying may be very high, simply leaving the relationship doesn’t guarantee that the violence will stop. In fact, the period when a woman is planning or making her exit, is often the most dangerous time for her and her children
What are the effects of domestic violence on children?
When there are children in the household, the majority witness the violence that is occurring, and in 80% of cases, they are in the same of the next room. In about half of all domestic violence situations, the children are also being directly abused themselves.
How many women and children use domestic violence services?
On one typical day – 2nd November 2006 – 11,310 women and 8330 children were being supported by domestic violence services in England (both residential and non-residential). This has increased by 50% since 2003. On the same day, 3615 women and 3580 children were being supported within refuge-based services.
I believe to make the world a better place we have to start with families and do everything we possibly can to make them safe environments to grow our children in, only this way can we stamp out the mean, bitter, spitefulness that sadly exists.
Please download GAYL app from Mari’s World today and support Women’s Aid, by shopping online and raising funds for them at no extra cost to you.
Just go to www.give.as/marisworld and click ‘Discover Give as you Live’.