The #DeadWomenWalking march aims to raise awareness of the women behind the statistics of domestic violence murders. A peaceful, creative ‘Murder March’ to remember and represent the women murdered in the UK by partners, ex-partners and family members.
Who am I and why am I doing this?
I am co-founder of Certain Curtain Theatre Company a small scale, unfunded, professional touring company specialising in new writing. Established in 1989 we have always striven to write the unheard stories, to challenge the society we live in with dynamic originality from the page to the stage.
Since 1995, we have been deeply and passionately committed to using compelling, original theatre to combat the complex issues of domestic violence and its impact on women and their children. Our dynamic performances take place in community centres, school halls, prison – any space that can be turned into a ‘theatre’ for a few hours – linking in with local support agencies to provide face to face advice and a platform for exploration, discussion and understanding of the plight of victims of Domestic Abuse. The compelling style and delivery enables audiences to connect directly with the issues and characters. I know our dramas connect people emotionally with the issues and when you help people to FEEL – their emotions won’t forget and its this emotional connection to an issue which can change peoples attitudes. If we can change attitudes we can change everything.
As part of our performances we have a display of media coverage of domestic and sexual violence to highlight victim-blaming reporting, the lack of including dv helplines and the lenient sentencing of perpetrators of male violence against women. I noticed that headlines and media coverage were nearly always about the killers, their mental illness, stressful job and that the names of the women they had killed rarely made the headline or front page news. So seven years ago I decided to include a list of the names of women killed along with their age and date they were killed, to show that the women behind the statistics are real women of all ages, cultures and class and had a name.
Why Dead Women Walking?
Listing these deaths and researching their stories you see – REALLY SEE – how little women’s lives matter. Time and time again we see that the women killed, murdered, have been failed – that the warning signs were missed, or not acted upon, they were not believed, in essence that their murders could have been prevented.
Domestic homicide reviews are published and then I hear the same statement I have heard too many times to count – ‘Lessons will be learned’ and my heart sinks
I cry WHEN? When will women’s lives matter enough?
When will we stop failing women and their children?
So these women should be walking – but they’re not because we let them down.
We women are more likely to be raped, beaten and/or murdered by men we know than by a stranger – one in three of us will experience domestic violence and so just as the dead man walking phrase means someone who is about to die – we are all dead women walking – because until those lessons are learned and women’s lives valued – statistically we will be joining this too long list.
Last year I organised the first #deadwomenwalking march to Downing Street to raise awareness of domestic violence murders – it was a respectful, artistic march where women walked in silence in red ponchos carrying a candle with the name of a murdered woman on, as the names and ages of the 400+ women who had been killed since the election were read out loud.
This years we are marching to Parliament Square on Sunday 22nd November 2015 2pm – Central London – Join us here. Together with the ICChange campaign we will call on the UK Government to get serious about Ending Violence Against Women, by ratifying the Istanbul Convention. If you haven’t signed the ICChange petition yet please sign here.
I’m organising this from my living room and have set up a GoFundMe page for this years event – please support and share if you can.
Website: Dead Women Walking