In your shoes: support and understanding for victims of domestic violence

Kevin Snow26th November 2008

Chief Executive Steven Halls contributed a pair of shoes to a special exhibition held at Three Rivers House, Rickmansworth, on Monday. The special display showcased 104 pairs of shoes representing the number of women killed in the UK every year through domestic violence.

Footwear on display included those of JK Rowling and Annie Lennox.

Steven Halls with Sandra Lewin, Sunflower Centre manager and Nicci Abrahams, Domestic Violence Support Officer from Hertfordshire County Council.The touring exhibition marked the Domestic Violence Awareness Fortnight which runs from November 17-28 and is supported by various organisations throughout Hertfordshire, including the County Council, Police and the Sunflower Centre in Watford.

Sandra Lewin, Sunflower Centre manager, said:

"We're raising awareness of domestic violence - it's an issue across the board and there are male as well as female victims. If you are suffering please call the Hertfordshire Domestic Violence Helpline and in an emergency dial 999.

"There's a lot of good support and the Domestic Violence Helpline has all the information to help you."

Police domestic violence experts also staffed a special stall at the Harlequin Centre on Monday to reach out to residents with information and advice.

Between July and September there were 243 reported incidents of domestic violence in Three Rivers. Experts believe that official figures across the country underestimate the extent of domestic violence.

The fortnight also included National White Ribbon Day on November 25.

The aim of the Sunflower Centre is to protect and support those affected by domestic violence or hate crimes. The Centre does this by working in partnership with other organisations to deliver a tailor made, individualised service, to ensure the safety of the family and reduce repeat victimisation.

Hertfordshire Domestic Violence/Abuse Line freephone 08 088 088 088 (Monday to Friday 10am - 8pm). The number does NOT appear on telephone bills.