It’s been a busy couple of months on the Willow Project

Well, all our hard work is coming to fruition.  On the 25th November at 10 am we held an online Zoom service to mark White Ribbon Day (to end violence against women), hosted by Mothers Union, Derby Diocese and The Willow Project. Bishop Libby shared with the congregation the different things that can be done to support victims of domestic abuse. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa spoke about the work that is being undertaken to tackle the issue. We were joined by 60 people to reflect on this difficult but important subject.  White Ribbon Day is about men standing up and saying that violence against women is wrong.  It also starts the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender violence and on the 10th December we finish with world human rights day which is obviously for all people, men or women, standing up for their rights.

All of the Domestic Abuse services in Derbyshire have come together to develop a Facebook page called simply Domestic Abuse Support in Derbyshire.  This page is for awareness only and not to report abuse.  As always please call 999 in an emergency or 08000 198 668 for support and advice.  Throughout the 16 days of activism we will be posting information about all of the different services which work with domestic abuse in Derbyshire.

The Willow Project is also delighted to announce that we now have four ‘Champions’ recruited to help raise awareness around rural domestic abuse.  Champions are integral to our project as they help raise awareness and challenge attitudes throughout the county as we can’t be everywhere at once!

Some more exciting news is that we have had some funding from the Ministry of Justice which has allowed us to have some films made about the differences rural victims of abuse can experience. 

As I have started working on this project I have found that there is a real gap in media representation and also information, about abuse in rural areas.  We have been working with a fantastic company called Rural Media who have developed a wonderful and realistic storyline representing domestic abuse in rural areas.  They came up to Derbyshire to film with a drone, in a socially distanced manner, and we just can’t wait to see the finished films!

I never thought I would be commissioning films as part of my work on domestic abuse awareness!

If you would like more information about The Willow Project or becoming a Champion, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected].