A crowd gathered on the steps of the Town Hall at the beginning of the week in a show of solidarity to tackle domestic violence.
Waving flags which read ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt,’ those present at the 26 November event marked the beginning in Hackney of this year’s 16 Days Of Activism To End Gender Based Violence campaign.
The Town Hall and its partners are to host events, forums and conferences across the borough as part of the 16 Days, which aims to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Cllr Rebecca Rennison (Lab, Kings Park), cabinet member for finance and housing needs, said: “Domestic violence is something that will affect us or someone we know at some point in our lives.
“I can guarantee every single person here will have a friend, family member or work colleague that will have been affected by it.
“It’s so important that we make sure people realise when there’s something not right in a relationship, and that they know when to talk to someone or to seek help.
“It might be today, or it might be tomorrow, but at some point, at some time in your life, there will be someone that will need to talk to you.
“Make sure you are the person that reaches out to them, and lets them know that the support is there. Together, we can end domestic abuse.”
According to crime statistics for 2017, 1.9m adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse, or six out of every 100 adults.
Nationally, more than half of all female homicide victims were killed by a former or current partner. Around two women are killed every week.
Amongst the different events that will be held in Hackney will be a public consultation held at Hackney Museum from 5.30-8pm on 5 December, and ‘Healthy Relationships’ events for young people at The Edge youth hub on 27 November and 5 December from 6-9pm.
The 16 Days campaign originated in 1991 at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences in New Jersey, and is part of the UN Secretary-General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women.
The theme of the campaign for 2018 is #HearMeToo, with the aim of bringing to light stories of women and girls experiencing abuse and violence.
Cllr Clare Potter (Lab, Brownswood), speaker of the council, said: “This event acts as an important symbol, but symbols alone are not enough.
“It is through our deeds that we make our mark upon the future, and by our actions that we change our society to make it a safer place for all.”