On Saturday 26th June 2021, Women’s Aid Leicestershire will formally open a Reflection Garden’ in Abbey Park, Leicester. Women’s Aid Leicestershire approached Leicester City Council to ask if they would allow Women’s Aid to use a section of one of the City Parks to create a ‘Reflection Garden’ which would be a quiet place especially for those who have experienced Domestic Violence and would have a permanent sign with the local Helpline Number so that anyone passing through the area would be able to access help for themselves or anyone they know. Leicester Council Parks Department readily offered a garden within Abbey Park and generously donated a special metal plaque on a bench with the important phone number clearly displayed.

Former East Midlands Member of the European Parliament, Mel Read will cut the ribbon at 11am on Saturday 26th June. Mel is a keen gardener, as well as a supporter of the work of Women’s Aid Leicestershire, and feels the idea of a special place in the park will do much to both inform passers-by and offer somewhere to reflect on the effect domestic violence has on so many people.

Women’s Aid in Leicestershire, like most other Domestic Violence charities has experienced a very challenging year due to the Covid Pandemic. All five Leicestershire refuges have been at full capacity most of the time.  In March 2020, all domestic abuse charities sounded the alarm. From the beginning of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, their helplines experienced a sharp rise in calls from victim-survivors, and saw early evidence of domestic abuse cases escalating, featuring high levels of physical violence and coercive control. Domestic homicides more than doubled in the first three weeks of lockdown.

Photo/Interview Opportunity by arrangement or from 10am Saturday 26th June in Abbey Park, Leicester (Opposite the Boating Lake).