The annual global campaign to tackle violence against women and girls begins on Saturday (25 Nov) with events taking place across West Lothian over the next two weeks.
A community march marked that launch of the regional 16 Days campaign. It was held today (Friday 24 November) at Howden Park Centre, Livingston and finished at Livingston's Civic Centre, where a one-minute silence to honour women and children across the world who have lost their lives to gender-based violence was observed.
Chair of West Lothian's Gender Based Violence Committee, Pauline Cochrane said: "It is essential that work continues across West Lothian and Scotland to ensure we are creating an equally safe society where women and girls do not face an increased risk of violence.
"There is still a lot of work to do until we reach the point where we can eliminate violence against women and girls. It's incumbent on all of us to step up and challenge gender-based violence and force long term behavioural and cultural change."
A number of events will be held across West Lothian over the coming weeks to mark 16 Days of Activism. These are some of the highlights:
- West Lothian Women's Aid will launch their new website.
- Bystander Intervention/ Healthy relationships training will take place at West Lothian College, with input from Police Scotland and The Domestic and Sexual Assault Team (DASAT).
- Police Scotland will be promoting the 'That Guy' Campaign at Livingston Football Club V Ross County match on Saturday 2 December.
- Art Exhibition at Compass Point, West Lothian College.
- Survivors Night Vigil at the front of the Civic Centre, Livingston, to close the campaign.
Depute leader of West Lothian Council, Kirsteen Sullivan and Depute Provost of West Lothian, Peter Heggie were two of the speakers following the march.
Depute Leader of West Lothian Council, Kirsteen Sullivan said: "Domestic abuse can be terrifying for those who experience it and many victims are often left feeling helpless. We hope that this campaign will encourage people to talk about the issue and its impact on families and will encourage victims to come forward for help and support."
Depute Provost, Peter Heggie added "Everyone has a vital role to play in ending violence against women and girls and whatever they can do to engage with it does make a difference. Please come along and take part in the many events happening throughout the next few weeks, either virtually or in person, and add your voice to the growing demand for violence against women to end."
Further details on the local campaign are available via the West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership website .