The National Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle will be lit up in orange to mark the beginning of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign.

The campaign which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year aims to eliminate violence against women and girls through awareness raising, knowledge sharing and advocacy efforts.

Over the next 16 days, multiple events are being held by the University of Stirling, Stirling and District Women’s Aid and NHS Forth Valley in addition to Stirling Council which cover a range of topics from domestic abuse to consent and safe sex.

Messaging related to the campaign is being displayed across all Stirling Council libraries for the duration of the 16 day period, and images, messages and statistics are being projected onto the foyer screens at the Tolbooth for further awareness raising.

The recent ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ campaign from Police Scotland is also being cited as an opportunity for men to challenge their own thoughts and attitudes towards women over the 16 day period.

We all have a role to play

Community Planning and Regeneration Convener, Cllr Chris Kane said: “The scourge of violence against women and girls is something that we all have a role to play in eliminating.

“While this campaign rightly highlights resources available to those who need them thanks to the fantastic work of stakeholders such as Women’s Aid and NHS Forth Valley; we also want to encourage conversations that make us uncomfortable.

“The recent theme of International Men’s Day focused on building better relationships with women. A lot of men, who if they are being honest with themselves, would admit that this is something that they can and should improve upon.

“I give my full support to the 16 Days campaign and am proud that Stirling Council recognise the ongoing effort from activists across Stirling and Scotland to end violence against women and girls.”

Stirling Castle will be lit up in orange again on Friday 10 December to mark the conclusion of the 16-day campaign.

The responsibility of everybody

Vice Convener, Cllr Scott Farmer said: “I fully support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign and commend the fantastic work of stakeholders who ensure that those who require support are given the help that they need.

“Eradicating violence against women and girls is the responsibility of everybody and it starts with addressing gender inequality and challenging negative attitudes towards women. We all have a part to play here."