Portsmouth march calls for end to violence in the home

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HUNDREDS of people are set to march through Portsmouth’s streets by moonlight to ‘reclaim the night’ for domestic violence victims.

The city’s branch of the White Ribbon group – which is celebrating its 10th anniversary – has set up the poignant stroll from the iconic Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays to Guildhall Square where a rally will be held.

It will mark the start of 16 days of action in the city calling for an end to violence against women.

Local street dance group Second To None, samba drumming group Batala and singers Kirsty Webb and Steff Abbrow are set to perform at the event.

And supporters of the White Ribbon group have been invited to send in messages or quotes that will be displayed in a scrapbook to mark the event.

Portsmouth Football Club players are also backing the campaign.

And staff at David Antony salon in Winter Road, Southsea, are showing their support by holding collections and wearing symbolic white ribbons.

Domestic violence survivor and chairwoman of Portsmouth’s White Ribbon group Kirsty Mellor said: ‘In 2011, it is appalling that women are still experiencing violence on the streets and in their homes, but I’m so proud to come from a city that stands against this.

‘Every year the men and women of Portsmouth have joined us to say this must stop.

‘Real men don’t hurt women, they stand alongside them pledging never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.’

Latest figures show Hampshire Constabulary received 3,622 reports of domestic violence crimes in our area last year – up three per cent from 3,511 the previous year.

Force-wide there were 9,148 domestic violence crime reports compared to 8,700 – up five per cent year-on-year.

The march will start at 7pm on November 25.