Inform Women, Transform Lives kick starts 16 Days of Activism campaign in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council, The Carter Center and Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid have joined forces to raise awareness of coercive control, which many women and girls across the city are experiencing.

The campaign “He said…”, launched at the Library of Birmingham yesterday (27 November 2023) follows the journey of six women experiencing the subtleties of coercive control, and their journey in finding support via the Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid Helpline.

Launched by US organisation The Carter Center in 2021, Inform Women, Transform Lives is a global campaign raising awareness about women’s right to accessing information, and last year Birmingham was chosen as the only UK city to join 35 other cities including Bogota, Dhaka North, Maputo to participate.

The campaign has been launched in time with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign from UN Women. The 16 Days of Activism campaign kicked off on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until the 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Together Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign and the 16 Days campaigns will help to raise awareness of domestic violence in women, and how access to information and local city support, can be life-changing for someone experiencing abuse.

Councillor Nicky Brennan, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities, commented: “I am so proud that Birmingham City Council is supporting Inform Women, Transform Lives, which aims to empower women via better access to advice, information and support, as part of its 16 Days of Activism campaign.

“As a survivor of domestic abuse, it took many conversations to for me to understand that the emotional and financial abuse I experienced was not normal or healthy behaviour in any relationship and should be seen in the same way as physical abuse is, unacceptable. There is no excuse for abuse, ever – but there is always someone ready to listen.”

Maureen Connolly, Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, said: “We welcome the campaign and its acknowledgement of the courage demonstrated every day by women subject to domestic abuse.

“It can be so hard to take that first step to seek help, but the campaign shows that there is support available. If you think you are affected by the issues in the video, please call the helpline or come along to our Early Help and Prevention Hub.”

Laura Neuman, Senior Advisor for The Carter Center, noted the commitment and innovation of Birmingham City Council to implement the Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign, said: “We are honoured to be working with them as they ensure that information about essential municipal services reaches women, including critical supports for survivors of gender-based violence.”

If you, or someone you know needs support call the Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid helpline for independent and confidential advice on 0808 800 0028.

To learn more about the campaign and watch the video visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/informwomen.

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