Thursday, April 17, 2014

Launch of WAVES Lewisham (Women Against Violence Expressing Solidarity)

Women Against Violence Expressing Solidarity (WAVES)  is a new 'grassroots organisation promoting a community based response to violence against women & girls in Lewisham... Each year across the UK up to 3 million women and girls experience violence, and there are many more living with the legacies of abuse experienced in the past. In the UK it includes: domestic violence, rape and sexual violence, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, crimes in the name of honour, trafficking, sexual exploitation and sometime murder. It is mostly committed by men that women know or are in a close relationship with... Set up in 2014, WAVES is a group of local women campaigning in the borough of Lewisham to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We believe that bottom-up community led change can complement the work of bodies like the police and council to tackle violence in the borough.We think Lewisham is a great place with a strong tradition of communities coming together for social justice. Led by women, we welcome male supporters who endorse our call for better prevention, protection and provision to address violence against women and girls'.

As a launch event on Saturday 26 April (2 pm), they are visting Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery to  commemorate a young woman who died 140 years ago:

'We will be placing flowers on the grave of Jane Maria Clouson, a pregnant Lewisham teenager who was murdered in April 1871. The people of South East London lined the streets from Deptford to Brockley for her funeral procession and, unusually for time, the coffin was carried by women, dressed as maids. The memorial, was paid for by public subscription and there was a great outcry when the murder suspect, her employer's son, was acquitted.  We are asking women who join us to wear black, if possible, and bring purple flowers to place on the grave.

Unfortunately, Jane's death is not just an interesting piece of social history. Today, nationally on average, two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. And domestic workers, often migrant women, are regularly subject to physical, sexual and other forms of abuse.

We want to build on the tradition of local community solidarity with women and girls harmed by male violence. We would be delighted to welcome new women who are interested in talking to us about what we can do locally about violence against women and girls today. However, please remember this a cemetery which is still used and there may be people in the vicinity visiting the graves of loved ones who have died more recently so we want our presence at the grave to be quiet and dignified.

Our graveside event will followed by a short meeting at 2.30pm in Huxbear Hall, Huxbear Street, SE4 1EA which is opposite the Brockley Grove gate on the P4 bus route'.

Deptford-born Clouson was found mortally injured in Kidbrooke Lane and died soon afterwards in Guys Hospital. For the full story of what became known as 'the Eltham murder', see this article by Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries.

1 comment:

Plastic Christmas said...

Easiest way to find grave if you don't know the cemetery is via Brockley Grove entrance (P4 bus route). Map here