First Light is asking people in Cornwall and Devon to sign up to 100 days, 100 ways and fundraise to help support people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

100 days, 100 ways is inspired by 2018 being the 100-year anniversary of women getting the vote in the UK. Women’s rights have progressed in many ways since 1918 but societal attitudes towards domestic abuse and violence against women are deeply ingrained and rooted in gender inequality.

“With 100 days, 100 ways, we want to encourage as many people as possible to think of fun, original ways to fundraise or challenge themselves to achieve a personal goal, reflecting on the determination and resolve of women 100 years ago to achieve suffrage for all.

“You can have lots of fun or achieve something that’s really quite meaningful, whilst at the same time raising essential funds to help people feel empowered and come forward to tell their truth.”

Louise Knight, Community Fundraising Manager

Movements like #MeToo, #Itsnotok and #VAWG have brought women’s rights to the fore in the past year, connected the struggles of women and girls internationally, and highlighted that women want to see change. Whilst First Light supports women, men and children affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence regardless of gender, the charity acknowledges that the majority of victims are women and children. We also recognise that male victims of abuse and assault are under-reported.

“Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is everyone’s business. We want to end abuse in Cornwall and Devon, and ensure we can be there for everyone who needs us. To do this, we need more funding so we can fully respond to increasing demand for our services and extend our reach.

“We also want to support a generation of young people to end abuse by providing education and training on what constitutes healthy relationships. Your fundraising can help us do this and £100 in 100 days is an easily achievable way of getting involved. Even if you just put £1 in a money jar each day for 100 days, or ask for sponsorship to quit a vice or get fit, you can raise £100 and make a difference.”

Tom Dingwall, Chief Executive – First Light

First Light currently spends just over £1.5million a year providing a wide range of services to support people affected by abuse in Cornwall and Devon. These include Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Truro and Plymouth, and adult and child Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Services (ISVA); the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Community Service; Plymouth’s Sexual Violence therapeutic (adult and young person) counselling and (child) Art Therapy Service, and education and training courses throughout Cornwall and Plymouth.

“Your £100 could do so many things,” says Louise. “It could go towards extra cover on our helpline and ensure we are there for everyone affected by domestic abuse to phone in, get help and move towards a safer future.

“It could also pay for one day of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) to work with people who have been seriously sexually assaulted, helping them navigate their way through the process of recovery, or for two sessions of therapy for a survivor of domestic abuse or sexual violence.”

Sign up to take part here