Hundreds turn out for protest against abuse

25/11/11   MO''Portsmouth White Ribbon group take to the streets at night celebrating 10 years of saying no to violence to women. The parade leaves Gunwharf Quays heading for Guildhall Square''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114188-2)
25/11/11 MO''Portsmouth White Ribbon group take to the streets at night celebrating 10 years of saying no to violence to women. The parade leaves Gunwharf Quays heading for Guildhall Square''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114188-2)

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AFTER Liz Gower became the victim of domestic abuse, she was determined to bounce back and warn others.

So the 51-year-old marched the streets of Portsmouth with hundreds of protesters last night as they called for an end to violence against women.

25/11/11   MO''Portsmouth White Ribbon group take to the streets at night celebrating 10 years of saying no to violence to women. The parade leaves Gunwharf Quays heading for Guildhall Square. L-R Molly Fisher 9 her mother Lin fisher, Sandra Charles, Janet Roberts, Sigornay Charles - Sandra's daughter, Aaliyah Bartlett-Scott, Yaz adie, Ingrid C Orea.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114188-1)

25/11/11 MO''Portsmouth White Ribbon group take to the streets at night celebrating 10 years of saying no to violence to women. The parade leaves Gunwharf Quays heading for Guildhall Square. L-R Molly Fisher 9 her mother Lin fisher, Sandra Charles, Janet Roberts, Sigornay Charles - Sandra's daughter, Aaliyah Bartlett-Scott, Yaz adie, Ingrid C Orea.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114188-1)

Liz, of Southsea, who was abused two years ago, joined people of all ages as they walked from Gunwharf’s Spinnaker Tower to Guildhall Square.

The crowds held anti-domestic abuse placards and were joined by local street dance group Second To None and samba drumming group Batala.

The annual ‘reclaim the night’ event, which was set up by the city’s branch of the White Ribbon group, was designed to help women believe they could walk in public at night and feel safe.

Liz said: ‘I still suffer panic attacks every now and again but gradually things are getting better. I feel it’s important for both women and men to be aware of what goes on.’

Liz’s friend Anthony Steel, 49, from Waverley Road, Southsea, said: ‘The atmosphere has been brilliant and everyone has been really friendly. Hopefully events like this will go a long way in changing people’s attitudes towards domestic abuse.’

A two-minute protest was staged outside Heaven Sent lapdancing club, on Guildhall Walk. A speech was also made by Kirsty Mellor, chairwoman of Portsmouth’s White Ribbon group, and songs were performed by Kirsty Webb and Steff Abbrow.

Kirsty said: ‘Everyone who marched has done so because they are against violence to women. This was also about getting men on board. Although they are part of the problem, they also hold the solution.’