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16 Days of Activism at the Compass Centre

Shetland Rape Crisis is preparing for a big change during its annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign, beginning on Thursday 25th November and running up until Tuesday 10th December. 

To open the campaign and as part of their work towards becoming a more inclusive and accessible service, Shetland Rape Crisis will officially open The Compass Centre, it’s Lerwick-base for working with survivors of sexual violence, launching the new name, website, and related resources.



Lisa Ward, Service Manager at the Compass Centre explained: “We chose The Compass Centre as the name for our centre and the work we do with survivors because the compass is symbolic of journey and direction and the work we do helps survivors to navigate their own way forward after trauma.”

A private ribbon-cutting ceremony will be led by Maggie Sandison, Chief Executive of Shetland Islands Council.

Ward added: “This year for the 16 days we are exploring the theme of women in leadership and so we invited Maggie to join us both as a friend and ally of the service and as an inspiring local woman leader.”

During the opening ceremony the council leader will spend some time with SRC’s youth activism volunteers, BEE (Bold, Equal, Empowered), discussing their aspirations for a future free from sexual violence.

Another of the main event featured for year’s 16 days campaign is a collaboration between Shetland Rape Crisis, Shetland Arts and Shetland Women’s Aid to present ‘Fragmented;' a one act play performed by Islesburgh Drama Group and written, directed and produced by Stephanie Pagulayan.

Fragmented image

Exploring the impact and trauma of childhood sexual abuse in adult life, the play shows how an adult survivor, ‘Evelyn’, copes with her conflicting inner identity and outer persona as she comes to terms with what happened to her as a child. The live performance at the Garrison Theatre is followed by a Q&A with local support organisations.

As well as the annual light up of local buildings in orange, to shine a light on violence against women and as a beacon of hope for survivors, The Pride flag will be flying over Lerwick Town Hall on some days during the campaign and The Compass Centre will be launching a survey to gather the views and experiences of LGBTI+ people as part of their work towards achieving the LGBT Youth Chartermark.

Access and Inclusion Worker Emilie Smith said: “We believe it’s important that LGBTI+ survivors don’t feel silenced about what’s happened to them or what support they need, as well as seeing their identities, experiences and issues reflected in information about sexual violence.

Other activities taking place during the campaign include public displays celebrating women in leadership and exploring the theme of sex education, which can be seen at Market House and Clickimin Leisure Centre, and an online social media campaign including a takeover event by local youth activists.

Ward added: “This campaign is a massive team effort by our staff and volunteers, and demonstrates their commitment and dedication to raising awareness to eradicate gender inequality and gender-based violence.”

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