The 16 Days of Action started on the 25 November Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls day and came to an end on International Human Rights day, Wednesday 10 December.
The Trust plaid an important role across the 16 days.
The Trust were invited by Tewkesbury BC to open up a Healthy Relationship Pop in event at Innsworth Community Center. They attended the ‘reclaim the night’ March held in Cheltenham on the same day that was attended by over 500 people. Nick then spoke at a ‘Domestic Abuse: Everyone’s Business’ Masterclass organised by Safer Gloucester. Nick then spoke at ‘Domestic Abuse and Stalking’ Masterclass organised by: University of Gloucestershire, Hollie Gazzard Trust, Gloucestershire Police and Cheltenham Borough Council. Nick and Chloe were also invited Tewkesbury BC to the council offices where they had a stand and spoke to various agencies in attendance. Finally, Gloucester Cathedral was lit up in purple in memory of Hollie on 10 December to mark the end of the 16 days.
Healthy Relationship Pop in Event
Nick and Mandy opened up the event with a stand at the community center along with a number of other Agencies highlighting the subject of healthy relationships.
‘Reclaim the Night ‘ March
Hundreds marched through Cheltenham to highlight the issue of domestic abuse. The Reclaim the Night parade was organised by The Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre ”Approximately 500 women, men and children took part, walking from Montpellier Gardens to The Brewery. The parade was particularly poignant for Nick Gazzard, the father of Hollie who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in February this year. He said: “The march sends out the message I wanted it to send out, which is we take a zero tolerance stand on any kind of abuse. “I think getting the message up above the table is the first thing. “We need to make sure we highlight it and stamp it out. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that abuse is not a part of our society anymore. “As the Hollie Gazzard Trust we will do everything to try and educate young people about healthy relationships to make sure they are safe. “The turn-out shows that people accept that as a philosophy and we can move forward now.” Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Gloucester, Sophy Gardner, was there supporting the Hollie Gazzard Trust. She said: “We should be talking about violence against women all year round but this gives us a real opportunity to flag up how important it is. “This is personal for me because I’ve had friends that have been involved in domestic violence. It’s happened to people that I love and that I’m close to.” Sophy said she didn’t think enough progress was being made on the issue. “One in five calls to the police are about domestic violence – that shows we have a real problem.
Nick was invited to present at the Masterclass alongside Dr Jane Monkton-Smith and Frank Mullane from AAFDA (Advocay After Fatal Domestic Abuse) commissioned by Gloucester Safety Partnership.
Domestic Abuse and Stalking’ Masterclass
Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, University of Gloucestershire criminology lecturer and PAS trustee, has created a Domestic Abuse Reference Tool – DART – to work alongside new police training. The DART is designed to help victims of domestic abuse and stalking, and work towards reducing the number of abuse-related deaths.
She said: “As part of my research into domestic homicide and working with victims and their families, I found there was a significant disconnection between what the professional agencies do and what victims need.” In many cases, particularly where no arrestable offence may have been committed, police officers don’t have enough understanding of the high risk characteristics for domestic homicide.”
Nick said: “I totally support the launch of DART as a tool that will help enhance the education of front line officers and other agencies responding to domestic abuse calls. It is crucial that victims are handled with the care and attention necessary to gain their trust and understand their fear. Thorough training of police and other agencies is of paramount importance, and this reference tool will assist in identifying the high risk characteristics of perpetrators and help them spot the warning signs before it is too late.”
Tewkesbury BC Event
Speaking at the final event of a series that started at Imjin Barracks on November 25 and ended at Tewkesbury Borough Council offices, Nick said: “I will carry on, as long as I’m here.” He and his elder daughter Chloe had set up a stall at the entrance to the council offices, having been invited to spread the word about tackling domestic violence by the authority.
Clearly passionate about the need for domestic violence to be talked about openly, Nick said: “I want people not to see it as a taboo subject, not something you whisper about or talk about in a corner. We need to get it out in the open. “It should be above the table and about giving people the right services to help them out.”
The 50-year-old former Cheltenham Town footballer received a warm welcome at the council offices, which is home to various public agencies as well as the borough council. Many people stopped to talk to him and buy some of the wristbands and heart cushions he and Chloe were selling in aid of the trust. Police officers, council workers and officials from The Roses theatre were just some of those who offered their sympathy and support to the pair. And Nick said the support for the trust generally from people in Gloucestershire and beyond had been “fantastic”. He said: “Originally, we set out to raise £20,000 but we’ve raised about £85,000 now.” But he stressed that there was a lot of work to do in bringing about a culture change on the subject of domestic violence. He said: “We need to change the old-fashioned blinkered approach. Hopefully, it will all pull together. We just need people to work together. “It’s really trying to get the message across that domestic violence is not acceptable and we need to take a stand against it.“From the various events that we’ve gone to, it’s going very well. The message is starting to get across now.”
Gloucester Cathedral Lit Up in Purple
The iconic Gloucester Cathedral turned purple in memory of murdered hairdresser Hollie Gazzard and to mark the end of 16 Days of Action. The event, which took place across Gloucestershire, was aimed at taking a stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence. The iconic Gloucester Cathedral turned purple in memory of murdered hairdresser Hollie Gazzard and to mark the end of 16 Days of Action. The event, which took place across Gloucestershire, was aimed at taking a stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence