I heard Lisa Kind, Refuge’s director of communications reiterate these points at the launch of the charity’s new brooch. Their first women’s refuge opened in Chiswick in 1971, there is now a whole network of refuges across the country. When you realise that 2 women a week die as a result of domestic violence and take in to account the amount of people you know who have been hit, controlled or threatened by their partners, you begin to understand the severity of the problem.
The Emmeline brooch had been created by Hot Diamonds as a way, to not only raise awareness of domestic abuse, but also much needed funds for the charity. 25% of the profits from each sale will be given to Refuge. The brooch is named after Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to remind us of the equality women are still fighting for.
Refuge aims to fight that inequality and empower women, though their refuges and helpline. Speaking at the launch was Anna Larke. Her much publicised court case against ex-boyfriend comedian Justin Lee Collins brought the issue of abuse and what abuse really meant to the forefront of the news again. Her experience and the 140 hours of community service Justin Lee Collins was sentenced to hammers home society's denial and lack of understanding of what abuse is and the ramifications it has. The lack of support for women who seek help against domestic abuse is pitiful.
domestic abuse is normality for many people, woman, children and men...
Anna told us: “I have stayed in a damaging relationship for longer than I should under the false hope that the person I fell in love with at the start was still there somewhere. It is very hard to separate the feelings of love you have for someone with the feelings of pain. I thought that if it distressed me so much when we argued then I must feel really strongly about my partner and it must mean there was something worth trying to save. I didn’t realise that it hurt because when someone is cruel and you care about them, it is utterly devastating.”
The little sterling silver flower with a pink sapphire stone (representing Refuge's logo) that Hot Diamonds has designed may just be another consumer product, a piece of jewellery, but it is also a way for people to draw attention to what too often goes unnoticed. Hopefully this brooch will help Refuge to raise the funds to continue to support women and children leave abusive relationships.
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