A small but dedicated band of Chichester College students and staff defied the rain on Tuesday (27 November) to help ‘drum out abuse’.
The group came together for a special march, organised to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the work of Sussex-based charity RISE, which supports people affected by domestic abuse.
Forced inside by driving rain and freezing temperatures, they marched around the college campus, making noise and shouting ‘At Chichester College, we say no! Domestic abuse has got to go’.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, was among those banging pots and pans.
She said: “Domestic abuse is something we all need to take seriously, and it’s important we show our support for organisations such as RISE.
“It was a shame the weather worked against us for our college march, but it was still heartening to see students and staff supporting us and making a lot of noise to help raise awareness.
“We have a number of activities planned throughout the year, aimed at raising money as well as awareness for RISE – which is our main charity for this academic year - and I hope the community will get behind our fundraising efforts as well!”
The ‘drum out abuse march’ was inspired by the 18th century practice of ‘rough music’ – when villagers would surround the house of a known abuser and bang pots and pans to shame them into change.
It was first RISE event organised at the college and is part of the 16-day action campaign ‘Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’. Staff and students were joined by representatives from the charity including Kelly-Marie Blundell, Fundraising Manager.
She said: "It is great to have Chichester College support for a vital issue, and to see students getting involved to put an end to domestic abuse.
"So often, abusive relationships start when people are young, so this is a great opportunity to teach young people about the importance of healthy and safe relationships; as one of the placards says, abuse is not love."
It’s estimated that one in three women in the world are affected by domestic abuse, with one in four impacted in Britain.
To find out more about RISE, please visit www.riseuk.org.uk