The team at the South West block management firm Fraser Allen Estate Management ‘went purple’ on Friday to help raise awareness of domestic violence and unhealthy relationships.
The ‘Purple Hollieday’ campaign took place across the UK in schools, colleges and workplaces every year on July 8.
It was launched by the Hollie Gazzard Trust, a Gloucestershire-based charity started by Nick Gazzard after his daughter Hollie was murdered by her ex-partner in 2014, following months of obsessive behaviour, stalking and harassment.
Bristol-based Fraser Allen is partnering with the Trust and supporting its mission to make relationships safer through a number of measures and initiatives.
To support the Purple Hollieday campaign, individuals and businesses are encouraged to ‘go purple’ for the day by wearing purple clothes or wigs, having a purple-themed cake sale, and festooning their organisations with purple decorations.
They can then share photos of their efforts on social media, tagging the Trust and using the #GoPurple hashtag, to spread the word about the campaign, raise much-needed funds, and increase awareness of domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships.
“We all wore purple, had purple cupcakes, and our logo went purple for the day,” said Jodie Fraser, managing director of Fraser Allen.
“These are lighthearted activities and we wanted the day to be joyful as a way of celebrating Hollie’s life, but we’re also very conscious of the serious issues this campaign is ultimately there to highlight.
“It’s a cause very close to my heart and I want to do whatever I can to help put an end to the heartbreaking loss of women to domestic violence and abuse.”
Jodie, who is an award-winning entrepreneur, has herself been targeted by an abuser and says she felt genuinely frightened by the combination of the perpetrator’s determined actions and the police’s apparent inability to prevent them.
“It was a really scary time,” she said, “and I know that so many women experience this kind of intimidation, whether it’s in the form of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual harassment in the workplace.
“I’m absolutely committed to helping Hollie’s father raise awareness of the Trust, the fantastic education they provide in schools and workplaces, and encouraging people to download Hollie Guard.”
Hollie Guard is a smartphone app capable of precisely pinpointing the user’s location and notifying their chosen emergency contacts if they do not arrive at their destination.
As well as capturing GPS location, the app records audio and video footage that could be used to assess danger and collect evidence of threatening and criminal behaviour. The app is free but there is extra paid-for functionality which provides support from a proven and police-approved 24/7 monitoring and immediate response service.
Jodie has provided this for all members of staff at Fraser Allen and feels strongly about the importance of keeping people safe, from family members and employees to the people who live in the buildings the company manages.
“There is still so much work to be done to raise awareness around unhealthy relationships and abusive behaviours. Myths about what constitutes domestic violence and who can be the victim of it are still common.
“Education about these factors is key in reducing instances of this kind of abuse but we also have to accept that many women and girls are at risk right now, and innovations such as the app can go some way towards helping to keep them safe.
“We hope that our relationship with the Trust will further this progress and assist in combatting out of date ideas and beliefs about this issue.”
The Hollie Gazzard Trust describes ‘HollieDay’ as “a special day for all of us to think about how we would like to be treated in our relationships.”
More than two women are murdered by a partner or ex-partner every week in the UK and it’s estimated that 1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year.
To donate to Fraser Allen’s fundraising for The Hollie Gazzard Trust visit https://bit.ly/3NNIaw9