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Orange Floodlighting of Local Landmarks to Highlight Violence Against Women

Published on: 23 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 25 Nov, 2021

Guildford Castle with its usual illumination.

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Three Guildford landmarks will be lit up orange on Thursday (November 25) to mark the UN’s Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Guildford Borough Council will light the Castle, the Guildhall and Tunsgate, and a peaceful rally led by a women’s organisation will take place through the town.

The rally is being organised by Zonta Guildford, a local branch of an international women’s organisation that works with women’s causes and campaigns for equality and empowerment.

Margaret Sharp, 83, is a Zonta member and is helping organise the rally. She said it was especially important to the group to mark the day this year after the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by then-serving Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens.

Zonta, Guildford

She said the group wanted to show solidarity but that it would be a gentle and peaceful walk.

Mrs Sharp said: “What is interesting is how invisible violence against women is.

“Sarah Everard was a perfectly ordinary person walking home along streets that were well lit. We want to feel safe in our streets. We want to do something to show solidarity in some way.”

Zonta supports women in the community, including at foodbanks in the area and the Sanctuary in Woking which offers support to women fleeing domestic violence.

The march will start at the bottom of North Street, Guildford and will end at Tunsgate where there will be speeches from Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend and the and deputy leader of the borough council and lead councillor for community and housing, Julia McShane.

Those joining the march should meet at the bottom of North Street at 6.30pm ready to begin the walk at 7pm.

The day marks the start of this year’s UN UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign which started in 2008.

Cllr Julia McShane

Cllr Julia McShane (Lib Dem, Westborough), GBC’s deputy leader, said Guildford would be joining places across the world to send a message that a brighter future free from violence needs to be created for women.

She said the borough council is actively engaged in eliminating violence against women and working with partners to that end, and that as a member of the Safer Guildford Partnership the council has signed up to the Guildford Against Domestic Abuse pledge raising awareness of and support for domestic abuse survivors.

She said: “We don’t want people experiencing domestic abuse to have to leave their homes either. Sanctuary is a Surrey wide initiative to help people remain in their own homes by installing security measures and support.

“We are also working with Surrey County Council, and our colleagues in other districts and boroughs, to review our Domestic Abuse services collectively. Together, we want to provide safe accommodation options and support, across the county.

“Together, the Safer Guildford Partnership has funded South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Outreach Service to provide dedicated support to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are safe.

“Help and support is available for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. Visit the South West Surrey Domestic Abuse website for emotional and practical support. If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.”

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Responses to Orange Floodlighting of Local Landmarks to Highlight Violence Against Women

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 23, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Money for floodlighting yet no council money to pay to have our toilets open. Guess that’s a different budget. Personally, there is no contest in a choice between lighting up a building and public toilets.

  2. Anna Hummel Reply

    November 24, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    It is great to have the support of Guildford Borough Council support for this event to highlight all forms of violence against women globally and to hear that they are working locally to ensure the safety of women surviving domestic abuse.

    Anna Hummel is a member of Zonta

  3. George Potter Reply

    November 26, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    If this is the Margaret Sharp I think it is then surely the article should say Baroness Sharp of Guildford rather than Mrs Sharp?

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough and county councillor.

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