Stepping into the shoes of victims

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 13 December 2013 Updated: 13/12 09:28

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Buy photos » Actor Aimee Berwick, Forthright director Jan Higgitt and Victim Support’s Tina Cross-Watson. Picture by Marcus Mingins 5013002MMR

SHOPPERS were able to step into the shoes of domestic violence victims during a theatre event in the town centre.

Hosted by Forthright Productions, the day at the Kingfisher Centre last Thursday (December 5), saw actors taking on the role of survivors and telling their stories to residents who were invited to pick a pair of shoes, each of which represented a specific story.

It formed part of the 16 Days Of Action, an international campaign run in the UK by the White Ribbon campaign, with a number of events co-ordinated by Redditch Borough Council including men walking a mile in women’s shoes and support from organisations such as Redditch United Football Club.

Andy Higgitt, director of Jestaminute Community Theatre, said: “This was the first outing for our new producing company Forthright Productions.

“It was a very successful event, the public really engaged with the real stories being told by our actors. Audience feedback showed that the stories certainly touched them in a variety of ways and opened their eyes to the issue of domestic abuse.”

Speaking at a council meeting on Monday (December 9), Coun Rebecca Blake - responsible for community safety - said the event had gone ‘very well’.

“It was quite powerful and had some really good feedback from people. People [who had experienced domestic abuse] said they were still struggling with feelings of guilt and shame and still felt in danger.

“Although a great deal of progress has been made in tackling this problem, domestic abuse remains a serious issue in the borough. We highlight domestic abuse during the 16 Days of Action but it is something which really needs to be taken very seriously all year round.”

Coun Juliet Brunner added: “It’s heartbreaking to think while we are celebrating Christmas with loved ones someone somewhere in Redditch will be a victim of domestic abuse.

“I’m sure all the hard work and effort which has been put into this campaign will be rewarded by highlighting the message of help and hope to those in need.”

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