AN iconic image of four candles, with one snuffed out, a graphic reminder that one in four women will suffer domestic abuse formed part of a vigil in Leigh last weekend.
Dedicated campaigners assembled at two candlelit vigils to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to show solidarity with victims and their families.
The vigils in Leigh and Wigan town centres were organised by Wigan Council’s Community Safety Partnership Team as part of End the Fear, a joint campaign which brings together Greater Manchester Police, the NHS, local authorities across Greater Manchester and many third sector organisations and charities who work with victims, families and perpetrators.
The campaign is rolled out at certain times of the year to address anticipated spikes in incidents, typically when increased tensions between partners and families lead to a rise in number and severity.
“Christmas and the New Year is one such anticipated spike,” said the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Myra Whiteside, who attended the vigil in Leigh outside Spinning Gate shopping centre. “The financial cost of Christmas and people’s fairytale expectations also add to the pressure. And of course alcohol is a significant factor in many incidents of domestic abuse. This vigil is a chance to remember those victims of domestic abuse and violence who have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners in the past 12 months.”
For more information visit www.endthefear.co.uk or call the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525. Those responsible for abuse can also get help by contacting the Respect Phoneline on 0845 122 8609.