Dresses of Sorrow
An exhibition highlighting the issue of domestic abuse opens in South Tyneside next week.
Organised by South Tyneside Council, the exhibition will see more than 140 dresses on display on washing lines as part of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Entitled Dresses of Sorrow, the exhibition is a visual representation of women who have lost their lives at the hands of a man so far this year. Each dress is a tribute to ensure that each woman is remembered as an individual, rather than a statistic.
Teddy bears will also be on display to represent the children who have lost their mothers in a domestic violence incident or who have tragically been killed themselves.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Tracey Dixon, said: "We all read the tragic stories of women who are killed by men but this exhibition really brings home the scale of the problem.
She added: "Seeing all the dresses and realising that each dress represents a victim focuses the mind on the scale of this tragic loss of life. Every woman killed will have been a sister, partner, mother or grandmother. The exhibition really is thought-provoking and I would encourage people to come along and see it."
Two women a week are killed by a former or current partner in England and Wales alone. Every week three women take their own lives to escape abuse.
Councillor Dixon added: "The power of domestic abuse lies in its secrecy. Only by talking about it openly can we seek to remove the stigma. This exhibition will help people to start conversations to bring this issue firmly into the open and make sure survivors get the help they need."
The touring exhibition will open on Tuesday 30 November in South Shields Museum where it can be viewed between 11am and 3pm until 2 December. It will then be based at Hebburn Children's Centre, Campbell Park Road from 6 - 9 December between 11am and 3pm. Its final stop will be at Jarrow Town Hall where people can see it on 10 December between 11am and 3pm.