Petals have been scattered on the River Taw in Barnstaple to recognise those who have survived domestic abuse – and in memory of those who have not.

A large group attended to scatter petals on the River Taw to mark International Elimination of Violance Against Women Day. Picture: Tony GussinA large group attended to scatter petals on the River Taw to mark International Elimination of Violance Against Women Day. Picture: Tony Gussin

The annual event organised by Barnstaple and District Soroptimists and was part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Monday, November 25.

It was among many events around the world to mark the first of 16 days of activism organised by the UN.

Around 50 people turned out in Barnstaple to support the occasion, including the town mayor Alan Rennles.

Irene Hockin from the Soroptimists said last year 173 people were killed as a result of domestic violence.

She added: "Locally it's as much an issue as anywhere - our refuge is the only one in Devon and it's always full. There are 16 applicants for each place in the refuge, 15 of whom are turned away to other agencies."

North Devon Superintendent Toby Davies said domestic violence was often behind closed doors and more victims needed to be encouraged to come forward, while their communities also needed to be aware and report domestic violence if they suspected it.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, call 999 in an emergency or report it to the police via 101, or use the reporting function at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk. You can also call Splitz on 0345 155 1074 or speak in confidence to someone you trust such as a GP or teacher.