Mosaic and play highlight hidden horrors of domestic abuse
The horrific consequences of domestic abuse both abroad and at home were highlighted in Tunbridge Wells as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week.
A giant mosaic – entitled Peace by Piece – depicting an abused person’s journey from darkness into light was created by local community groups and individuals at the town’s Trinity Theatre.
It was unveiled by the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells ahead of a performance of the internationally-acclaimed piece of theatre ‘Hurried Steps’ – which described stories of women who are still prisoners of horrific abuse, such as forced marriage, violence within the home, forced into prostitution and more.
“There was not a sound when the show ended,” said Ailsa Paton, domestic abuse services co-ordinator for the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Partnership.
“People had obviously been hugely affected by what they had just seen and heard.
“What we need to remember is that these terrible crimes happen in Kent, just as they do in every other part of the world. Even though we were hearing of women in Africa, Italy and Eastern Europe, this does not mean that these terrible things do not go on right on our doorsteps – because they do.”
In Tunbridge Wells since January 2009 there have been 205 reported incidents of domestic abuse to the Police.
150 were women –
- 146 had experienced domestic abuse from a man
- 4 had experienced domestic abuse from another woman
55 were men –
- 21 had experienced domestic abuse from a woman
- 34 had experienced domestic abuse from another man
Both men and women can access help from the new Tunbridge Wells Domestic Abuse Advocate Project which runs the new Helpline - call 01892 570538 for help or to book an appointment with an advocate.
At the Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells Soroptimists presented a cheque for £308 to West Kent Women’s Refuge and an audience collection raised a further £96.
Town & Country is one of the partners in the Community Safety Partnership and Ailsa works out of the Group’s offices. The mosaic was created in the Town & Country Foundation Gallery at the Trinity.