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Walking challenge and 'book fairy' project will help Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid raise awareness of gender-based violence


By Alan Hendry

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Feminist and women-centred literature is being distributed in CASWA's book fairy project.
Feminist and women-centred literature is being distributed in CASWA's book fairy project.

A "book fairy" project and a 125-mile walking challenge are among the activities being undertaken by a women's aid group in the far north to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.

Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid (CASWA) is again participating in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, a global campaign running from November 25 until December 10.

The organisation is a partner in a Highland-wide continuation of the #ChangeHerStory campaign which seeks to turn thought into action. This year the question has been altered from “What would you like to see change for women and girls?” to “What will you do to change the story for women and girls?”

Decision-makers and people in the community are asked to complete placards in response to the #whatwillyoudo question.

CASWA deputy manager Emma Fraser said: “The support and engagement of the Caithness and Sutherland community is so important to us. We’re very conscious that we alone cannot create change.

“This year, we are asking our community what they will do to change the story to make violence against women and girls a thing of the past.

“This seems a huge question to consider, and we know how far there is to go. But what we also know is that it is often the very small actions that create the ripples for change, and we are encouraging everyone to consider what they can do.

“During 16 days we’re also sharing our team’s favourite feminist and women-centred literature by distributing books throughout Caithness and Sutherland for our book fairy project, complete with weather-proof covers.

A powerful pledge as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.
A powerful pledge as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.

"In addition, our team will be walking 125 miles as a fundraiser for CASWA – each mile representing a woman, child or young person being supported by our service at the moment.

"We are 'walking in their shoes' to send a key message not only to survivors, but to our community: CASWA stands, walks and marches in solidarity with survivors.”

CASWA team leader Donna Mackay said: “Taking part in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is a powerful stance which shows the women, children and young people whom we support that CASWA and the Caithness and Sutherland community stand in solidarity with them.

"We can all play a role in eliminating violence against women and girls."

Placards can be downloaded from www.changeherstory.co.uk and people are invited to upload them to social media using the hashtag #whatwillyoudo and tagging CASWA. Alternatively, placards can be sent to CASWA.

Mackays Hotel in Wick will be lit up for the duration of the campaign in support of CASWA and 16 days.

CASWA can be contacted on 0345 408 0151, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, or through www.caswa.org.uk

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is 0800 027 1234 (24/7).

CASWA’s social media accounts are Facebook @CaithnessAndSutherlandWomensAid and Instagram @caswa_womensaid

Hashtags being used are #caswa16days #whatwillyoudo #lightup #caswabookfairyproject #caswawalkamileintheirshoes and #orangetheworld

Donations can be made via the CASWA website.

One of the placards from CASWA. Placards can be downloaded from www.changeherstory.co.uk and people are invited to upload them to social media.
One of the placards from CASWA. Placards can be downloaded from www.changeherstory.co.uk and people are invited to upload them to social media.

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