26 Nov 2012 Last updated at 00:00

Pop-up gallery to raise awareness of domestic abuse

Artwork and poetry by people affected by domestic abuse will feature in a special pop-up art gallery at 143 High Street, Newport (former Island Images café) between Tuesday 27 November and Friday 7 December.

Organised by the Island’s Domestic Abuse Forum - made up of representatives of public agencies and charitable organisations – the exhibition will coincide with an international campaign focusing on ending violence against women and girls, called ‘16 Days of Action’.
 
The art on display will include work by pupils at Carisbrooke College and Sandown Bay Academy who have focused on the issue of domestic abuse as part of their lessons this autumn.
 
Alongside the artwork, displays from agencies and organisations - including the Hampton Trust, Victim Support, Street Pastors who work with victims and families - will show what support is available locally. 
 
As part of the 16 Days of Action, the charity Victim Support has organised a self-defence class for women on 9 December at Lower Hyde Holiday Park, Shanklin. To book a place please call (01983) 533688.
 
Violence against women and girls has been particularly topical in the UK in the last few months and the Island is not immune from such problems. In 2011, 295 victims were identified to be at high risk of murder or significant harm from domestic abuse - these cases, discussed by agencies at the Multi-Agency Risk Conference, also involved 487 children. In addition, the women’s refuge outreach team worked with 401 women and 487 children across the Island, while 22 women and 30 children were accommodated in the refuge; 44 rapes were reported to police and the Island’s Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA), who works with victims of sexual abuse, currently holds a caseload of 25.
 
Curated by volunteers

People are encouraged to visit the exhibition which will be curated by volunteers and representatives from the organisations involved, between 10am and 4pm from Tuesday 27 November to Friday 7 December (closed Sunday 2 December).
 
Fleur Gardiner, domestic abuse co-ordinator at the Isle of Wight Council, said: "For the last two years we have invited people to take part in Reclaim the Night marches around the time of the 16 Days of Action, but this year we wanted to do something a bit different.
 
"The art work is of a very high standard and we hope that people, whether they have been affected by domestic abuse or not, will take a few minutes out of their day to visit the exhibition and find out a little more about the issues facing so many people on the Island – and the support available."
 
Councillor Dawn Cousins, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Children and young people are sadly the innocent victims of domestic abuse. I hope people will take the time to visit the pop-up gallery and find out about the work being carried out by the council and other organisations to tackle domestic abuse while enjoying the beautiful artwork."
 
Cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "Domestic abuse remains a big issue on the Island and it is important that we raise awareness so victims know where to find support. Domestic abuse and gender-based violence are often considered to be hidden crimes because victims find it difficult to come forward and seek support. We hope that the exhibition will act to highlight the issues and that more people will come forward to seek help."
 
For further details please contact Fleur Gardiner on 821000 (ext: 6332) or via email: fleur.gardiner@iow.gov.uk   

The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm daily, refreshments available
The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm daily, refreshments available
Factfile
  • The 16 Days of Action are a symbolic link between International Day to End Violence Against Women on 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
  • In 2011, the women’s refuge outreach team worked with 401 women and 487 children across the Island, while 22 women and 30 children were accommodated in the refuge.
  • The pop-up gallery is open 10am to 4pm daily (except Sunday 2 December).
  • Free tea, coffee and hot chocolate will be served - donations accepted for the White Ribbon Campaign.
 
Newport Isle of Wight