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Dagenham women to hold candlelight vigil outside Romford police station for victims of abuse

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 December 2018

Romford Police Station. Picture: JON KING

Romford Police Station. Picture: JON KING

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A Dagenham charity will be holding a candlelight vigil in Romford to pay their respects to women who have been affected by male physical violence or sexual abuse.

According to the Femicide Census run by Women’s Aid and Counting Dead Women, 127 women have been killed by male violence this year across the UK.

People from the Huggett Women’s Centre in Heathway, Dagenham, will be holding a candlelight vigil outside Romford Police Station today (Tuesday, December 4) at 4pm to raise awareness about the number of women who have been assaulted by men.

Maria Sookias, head of operations at Huggett Women’s Centre, said: “Women and girls are under attack at a time when the police and criminal justice system are facing cuts and reports of abuse are rising.

“Join us to show your support for women and girls who have experienced violence and abuse and to commemorate those who are no longer with us.”

The centre has seen an unprecedented demand for services to support women and girls who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

More than 200 women and girls are on its waiting list for counselling in east London and more than 120 women are waiting for advocates.

Annetha from the Women’s Involvement Group at Huggett, added: “All forms of male violence is unacceptable and this has to be addressed as a problem of epidemic proportions.

“Responses to survivors and the victims’ families are urgently needed to promote awareness and easily accessible safe spaces.”

The centre aims to create a safe haven that will cater for all women and girls in the city of London.

“The Huggett Women’s Centre has empowered and strengthened my resolve,” said Vanessa from the women’s involvement group.

“With their help and support I now have the full truth, knowledge and understanding of violence against women.

“I have been able to transition from victim to service user, survivor to volunteer. I am whole again. I have purpose.

“I am a powerful women who can embrace life, love whole-heartedly and ‘pay it forward’ by supporting other women through their journey.”

For more information visit niaendingviolence.org.uk.

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