Renfrewshire residents joined local activists to honour those who have lost their lives due to domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Co-ordinated by Renfrewshire Council and partners in health, police and fire services, and the Paisley branch of Soroptimist International, the Reclaim the Night event saw local people gathering to lay white ribbons and a wreath as part of a silent vigil.

The event marks the beginning of Renfrewshire’s 16 days of action, echoing the international campaign by the UN to eradicate violence against women that takes place every year between 25th November and 10th December.

Women, men and children at the event placed white ribbons beside a wreath on the fence at Dunn Square, Paisley.

People are urged to pop by and place their own white ribbon at any time during the 16 days of action.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron attended the event and said it was good to see people get together to raise awareness of gender-based violence.

Provost Cameron said: “Gathering each year to remember those who have lost their lives to violence is always poignant, and after having to miss the event last year due to the pandemic, it was good that we could continue to honour their memories together.

“Gender-based violence remains an issue in our society and that’s why it’s important we speak out against it. Our streets and homes should be safe places for women, regardless of clothing, or time of day or night, but it is more than just a women’s issue.

“Educating people about violence that people experience in their daily lives and ensuring that we all take responsibility for the problem of violence is essential to creating real change in how we behave.

“It’s time to end the stigma around violence and stop blaming the victim. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, reach out and tell someone.”

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24/7 and are free to call from a landline.

  • Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234
  • Abused Men in Scotland Helpline – 0808 800 0024
  • Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345