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Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 06:11 GMT
Charities unite against domestic violence
Crying girl
One in four women will suffer physical abuse from a partner
White ribbons will go on sale across the UK on Sunday to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence.

A series of events and demonstrations have been organised to mark the International Day Against Violence Towards Women.

It is estimated that one in four women will suffer physical abuse from a partner at some point in their lives.

A woman becomes the victim of domestic violence in Britain every 20 seconds and two women die every week as a consequence.

Campaigners attending a rally in London's Trafalgar Square will blow whistles to symbolise breaking the silence that surrounds domestic violence.

Church action

Services in Methodist churches on Sunday will include the deliberate smashing of crockery.

The idea is to shock congregations into facing the extent of the violence suffered by women at the hands of their husbands.

Research suggests women in church families may find it harder to get help because of the stress on forgiveness, and pressure to preserve even flawed marriages.

Women who may be escaping from violent partners need a full network of support to help them rebuild their lives

Paul Wilson, Carr-Gomm Society
One charity is using the event to call for a more united approach to tackle the issue of assaults against women.

The Carr-Gomm Society claims victims are often discouraged from asking for help by the bewildering number of agencies that exist.

Chief executive Paul Wilson said women would prefer to deal with a single body after suffering domestic violence.

He said: "Many agencies deal with a particular issue such as housing, counselling or health.

'Comprehensive' approach

"But women who may be escaping from violent partners need a full network of support to help them rebuild their lives and develop confidence.

"It is not practical to expect victims of domestic violence to deal with a host of different agencies when they are in crisis."

The charitable housing society offers a range of services to women who have suffered domestic violence.

Mr Wilson said: "We believe a more comprehensive approach to domestic violence is required to prevent problems from stacking up as agencies who have done their job move on to more urgent cases."

Events to mark the fourth White Ribbon Day are being organised by the charity Womankind Worldwide, which was set up to address crimes against women.

The BBC's Robert Pigott
"Many women feel shame and guilt"
Mandana Hendessi, YWCA
"There ought to be better funding"

Click here to go to London
See also:

22 Nov 01 | England
Door opens on domestic violence
21 Nov 01 | Wales
Unmasking seasonal abuse surge
06 Mar 01 | World
One in five women assaulted
04 Jul 01 | Health
'Doctors helped me survive abuse'
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