The first victim of domestic violence remembered

MEN, women and children walked as one to raise to raise awareness of domestic violence.

More than 30 people and three dogs took part in the second annual walk to the Ellen Strange memorial in the Rossendale Valley.

The first recorded victim of domestic violence Ellen Strange was murdered on Holcombe Moor, Ramsbottom, by her husband in January 1761.

Following Ellen’s death local people began placing stones in her memory on the murder spot, a practice that has continued to the present day.

After reaching the murder spot participants read out short stories about people they had known who had been injured or killed as a result of domestic violence.

There were also talks by a number of gust speakers, including Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Linda Charnock from the Endeavour Project, Tracey Dewe from Endeavour and the Rev Robert Airey.

One of the organisers, Mark Metcalf, said: “It was a brilliant day.

“It was fantastic to see so many people come together and remember Ellen Strange and all those who have suffered as a result of domestic violence.

“When we were at the memorial some guest speakers gave short presentations. One of those was Sheila Coleman who spoke about the effect domestic violence and the impact it has had on er and her family.

“She also spoke about how in the past women who were victims of domestic violence were not listened to. Thankfully now that has all changed and police are taking it very seriously.

“It was just fantastic to see so many people there.”

Proceeds from the event went to Endeavour, a charity which supports victims of domestic abuse and their pets.

Mrs Dewe said: “When we did the walk, which is around 5k in total, there was a real feeling of achievement and it was a chance to remember Ellen and all those who have suffered since from domestic violence.