The 25th of November an important evening for many women around Folkestone, ‘The Strength of a Woman’ held at the Sunflower house on Ford Road. This is an evening, for the third year, of creative expression to mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
For the past two years Leah Thorn, one of the three co curators of the WOW festival, has gathered groups of women poets on the day that marks looking at issues and violence against women. Throughout the years a mixed group of women; young, old, black, white - have joined together with the first year being a part of the book festival Leah had her own women pop-up shop in the Strange Cargo gallery. Then last year’s successful evening was in the Burlington hotel.
This year won’t only be poetry but also musicians will be playing, hopefully some dance movement pieces. The whole point of the poetry and song is the share something both about the violence that women experience but also the strength of a woman – the way women come through quite extraordinarily hard situations.
For around 8 years Leah has been working in a women’s prison doing poetry. For 2 of those 8 years she was a writer in residence in a high security women’s prison and a lot of the women there had experienced domestic violence, so they expressed this through a little booklet and a performance which will actually be shown on this year’s evening.
“2 women a week are killed by a partner/ex partner, so the statistics are really showing what is actually going on. I think all women and in fact some men are affected by violence against women; it’s a really big unspoken thing, although probably more spoken about now compared to when I was a young around 40 years ago. But it can still be a cause for women having to hide what’s going on for them or a sense of real isolation, not knowing where to turn, so I think everyone needs to acknowledge what’s going on. I think it’s so important that women being together across our differences as women just to notice the issues, it may be a way for women who can’t talk about their issues but come to an evening like this to get some support and information”.
There’s all different forms of abuse; sexual abuse, domestic abuse, it’s not just physical violence it can also be emotional abuse – bullying or a threatening atmosphere. Even if you haven’t yourself been through a situation yourself of violence but want to come and show support and hear people’s stories your more than welcome, with a suggested donation £2.00-£15.00 Any profits go to the Folkestone WOW [Women of the World] Festival, celebrating International Women's Day 2016. With tea and cakes on sale, the doors will open at 7pm at the Sunflower House on Ford Road.