One of Liverpool’s most noticeable statues was adorned with an ActionAid ‘Fearless’ sash in order to honour women who have lost their lives to domestic violence.
Lime Street Station’s Bessie Braddock memorial was given the red sash by #FearlessWomen campaign’s Kate Menear, a writer and campaigner from Liverpool. The gesture was part of ActionAid’s 16 days of activism which is taking place all over the world, in a bid to end violence against women.
Bessie Braddock was a Labour councillor in Liverpool during the 1930s, and later a Liverpool Exchange MP, and a campaigner in the fields of maternity, child welfare and youth crime.
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Tony Concepcion, attended the ceremony, along with Councillor Emily Spurrell, The Mayoral Lead for community safety. Councillor Rachel O’Byrne said in her speech: “Women should not be killed for being women.”
Half of all female homicides are committed by a partner or ex-partner, and a third of all women will be subject to violence at least once in their lifetime. Ms Menear urged people to fight against this statistic, saying: “In a fearful world, forgive me for being afraid. I urge my wonderful city to rebel.”
Speaking to JMU Journalism, she said: “We’re getting people to stand together, to make a big stink about the issue and by honouring Bessie together, to shed a positive light on a negative subject.”
Organiser Menear, speaking on the campaign’s Facebook page, said: “Bessie Braddock dedicated her life to helping others. She was fearless and the people of Liverpool can be too.”
The ActionAid website for the 16 days of activism campaign says: “It’s one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and it robs women of control over their bodies and lives. This doesn’t just hold back the women it affects – it holds back their families and communities too.”
People suffering at the hands of an abusive partner can call Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000247, while men who are being abused can contact 0808 8010327.