The Heart of Women’s Voices project aims to mark International Women’s Day on the 8th March and, like our This Is Not Love Project, is focusing on raising awareness of domestic violence against women, which has surged during lockdown.
We have three hotspots in town where we will be hanging hearts:
- Swan terrace in the Old Town,
- The Peace Garden in Alexandra Park
- The trees on Kings Road, St. Leonards
However, you can hang hearts anywhere you like in town, a favourite spot on your daily walk perhaps, or even in your own garden. Just don’t forget to take a photograph and share it with us on Instagram @womensvoicehastings. You can also use the hashtags #HeartOfWomensVoices #WomensVoiceHastings.
It would be lovely to see everyone’s hearts hanging up on International Women’s Day. But you can also hang them up before then.
Here is are some tips on how to make your hearts if you’re feeling stuck:
- Use card, paper or even fabric to make your heart.
- Make it bright and colourful. Decorate it with stickers, patterns, feathers, whatever you like.
- You can keep it arty or you can add a statement. Add a fact about domestic abuse to raise awareness of the issue.
Good sites for facts, information and resources for domestic abuse are:
https://www.refuge.org.uk/ and https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
- You can also add a positive statement to show your support for those who have been or are being affected by domestic abuse. Or even a resource on where a person can reach out for help. For example the National Domestic Abuse Helpline number: 0808 2000 247.
- Loop some string or twine through the top of the heart and hang them up on a tree! You may want to consider making your hearts weatherproof in whatever way you prefer, but even if the hearts do get a little rain-stained that’s okay. It will still be nice to see some heart art solidarity!
- See below for a few positive / empowering quotes and facts about domestic abuse that you may wish to use on your hearts.
Living through or rebuilding life after domestic abuse can be a very lonely place for many who are affected, and we would like to spread the message that help is available as and when it is needed. Though we have come far as a society in recognising domestic abuse, it is still hard to talk about for many people and because it tends to happen out of sight we all too often ignore it. In creating this project, we hope to keep a focus on the issue and form somewhat of a hub that women can turn to for support and information in our community, whether that be for domestic abuse or any other situation. Women’s Voice are here to get women heard of course!
Here are some examples of beautiful hearts that have been made already by our incredibly creative committee members and their friends:
Facts about domestic abuse, all taken from Refuge and Womens aid websites:
‘ Almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime’
‘ 40% of homeless women state domestic violence as a contributor in their homelessness’
‘ 93% of defendants in domestic abuse court cases are male, and 84% of victims are female’
‘ The police receive a domestic violence-related call every 30 seconds’
‘ One in two young women have experienced controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship’
‘ 41% of UK girls aged 14 to 17 in an intimate relationship experienced some form of sexual violence from their partner’
Positive statements you may wish to use on your hearts:
- ’YOURE A SURVIVOR’
- ‘YOU ARE ENOUGH’
- ‘WHEN WOMEN SUPPORT EACH OTHER, INCREDIBLE THINGS HAPPEN.’
- ‘EMPOWERED WOMEN, EMPOWER WOMEN.’
- ‘WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS.’
- ‘INDIVIDUALLY WE ARE ONE DROP, TOGETHER, WE ARE AN OCEAN.’
- ‘WELL BEHAVED WOMEN SELDOM MAKE HISTORY’