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My Norwich

'Sew' positive against abuse

Published on Tuesday, 4th October 2016

A call is going out to the people of Norwich and Norfolk to ‘sew’ their support for the stand against domestic abuse ahead of White Ribbon Day – Friday 25 November.

Working together with communities Norwich City Council and the Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes are creating a big white ribbon to be unveiled on Friday 25 November at the Forum to mark International White Ribbon Day.

An impressive range of organisations and groups have been creating individual ribbons, to be sewn onto a 10 foot totem structure, each with positive messages about relationships.

Those already involved range from the charity New Routes, which works to make sure minority ethnic groups aren’t excluded from society, to The Harbour Centre, providing support to those who have experienced sexual assault; and many more.

There are also opportunities for the public to get involved.

Councillor Vaughan Thomas, cabinet member for fairness and equality said: “For the majority of us, the thought of hurting those we love, either physically or emotionally, is unthinkable. The very sad truth, however, is that domestic abuse is a real issue. It can affect anyone, whatever their background is, whatever their ethnicity or gender, whatever age.

We feel that by keeping the conversation going, we can help break down the stigma surrounding abuse and get the messages out that there is support for those who are abused and , to abusers, that it is ‘not acceptable in any form.’”

‘Sew’ your support
There are public events where anyone can come along to the WI office, 45 All Saints Green, Norwich, NR1 3LY, and make their own ribbon to add to the totem.

Thursday 13 October 2-5pm
Saturday 15 October 10am-12:30pm
Wednesday 19 October 2-5pm
Tuesday 1 November 10am-12noon
Friday 18 November 12noon – 4pm

Slots can be booked by calling the WI office on 01603 624580.

Mary Dorrell, chairman public affairs for Norfolk Federation of Women's Institutes, said:

"The WI is delighted to be making The Big White Ribbon for Norfolk. It is part of our long running campaign: No More Violence Against Women.

We hope this will promote more conversations about saying #NoToDomesticAbuse so that men and women can provide support for those who want to walk away from abusive relationships."

Friday 25 November – Big white ribbon launch event and candlelit vigil at the Forum

The big white ribbon will be available all day.

• From 3pm – an event to showcase organisations who work to support victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse and violence in Norfolk.
• 5pm – speeches
• 5:30-6:30pm candlelit vigil outside the Forum

What the white ribbon means locally
Wearing a white ribbon is a demonstration of a person’s pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Locally, Norwich City Council along with partners who make up the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership, have adopted the white ribbon as symbol of commitment against all domestic abuse, not matter what form it takes – whether verbal, physical or sexual –
or the gender of the person who carries it out or experiences abuse.

After the big white ribbon has been displayed at the Forum, it will be taken on a tour of the county.

To find out about other activities in Norfolk around the issue of domestic abuse, including where you can go for advice or support, visit