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Dr Anna Hopkins completes 16 Days of Activism to shed light on gender-based violence

Anna Hopkins, Lecturer in Policing Organisation and Practice (POP) at The Open University is again raising awareness of the United Nations’ ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign.

This year, Anna has organised a powerful and poignant shoe exhibition at the Gregson Centre in Lancaster and has also run over 80km to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.

Marking the 32nd year of the United Nations’ campaign against gender-based violence, Anna has displayed 16 pairs of shoes in an exhibition called ‘Hidden in plain sight of us all’ to symbolise the harrowing statistics surrounding domestic violence.

Eight pairs, painted in red, honoured the memory of those who lost their lives due to domestic violence, while the remaining eight pairs, painted in blue, represented victims who tragically took their own lives as a result of such abuse.

Some pairs featured a combination of red and blue shoes, highlighting the complexity of determining the cause of suicide and the culpability of the abuser. Each pair of shoes served as a poignant reminder of a woman who lost her life due to domestic violence, aiming to raise awareness about the alarming frequency.

Researching domestic violence never feels enough in creating sufficient change and awareness of the horrific consequences this heinous crime has on those who lose their lives and their family and friends who are left behind.

In the UK, a woman is murdered as a result of domestic violence every three days, and approximately three women per week die by suicide as a direct consequence of domestic violence, with an estimated 30 women per week attempting to take their own lives as a result of domestic violence. I’m hoping to shed light on these realities, prompting reflection, action and difficult conversations people often avoid in engaging with.”

Dr Anna Hopkins

In addition to the exhibition, Anna has also embarked on a remarkable achievement, running five kilometres every day from 25 November and finishing yesterday, (Sunday, 10 December), totalling an impressive 80 kilometres. Each run was dedicated to the memory of one of the women whose story was featured in the shoe exhibition.

Not content with merely raising awareness, Anna is also fundraising for Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA), a unique service that provides specialist advocacy and peer support to families in England and Wales who are bereaved following fatal domestic abuse. The organisation plays a crucial role in supporting families through the statutory processes that follow a death resulting from domestic abuse.

To support Anna’s fundraising efforts for AAFDA, you can visit her JustGiving page: Anna Hopkins is fundraising for AAFDA – Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (justgiving.com)

This article was originally published on the OU news website, read the original article.

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