News: Churches campaign for women’s safety

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Christian campaigners are highlighting the realities of violence against women during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Red chairs are being placed in churches, businesses, train stations and schools to raise awareness that, globally, a woman or girl dies at the hands of an intimate partner or family member every 11 minutes.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The Red Chair Project began in French churches, but now through the Christian Network to End Domestic Abuse, is being replicated throughout the world by Christian organisations who want to galvanise the church to speak up and do something about violence against women and girls.

The Red Chair Project involves reserving an empty chair in a public place with a sign in red highlighting facts about domestic violence. The empty chair also serves as a visual symbol of the lives lost to gender-based violence. The colour red reminds us all of the violence faced by millions of women in war zones, on city streets, and also in their own homes. The sign is available in French, English, Spanish, Hindi, Romanian, Hungarian, and more.

Bekah Legg, CEO of Christian charity Restored says; “At Restored, we speak up about violence against women 365 days a year, but this is a great opportunity for everyone to do something simple. Violence against women is such a pervasive problem, that most people don’t know where to start, but this project makes it easy to make a difference and start to change a culture which normalises violence against women.

Restored will be sharing pictures of Red Chairs around the country on their social media over the 16 Days of Activism. If you would like to get involved and set up your own Red Chair in your community, find out more and download the resources at www.restored-uk.org/redchair.

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.
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