British actresses support ActionAid’s Christmas appeal

Taryn Davies
Published: December 8, 2016

Gemma Chan, Jaime Winstone, Andrea Riseborough, Jane Horrocks and Laura Carmichael have joined together to support ActionAid’s ‘Safe From Harm’ Christmas appeal.

The British actresses appear in a statement-making new film in a bid to boost awareness of violence this Christmas.

In the film, the actors share testimony from four young female survivors of sexual violence in Bangladesh and Zanzibar, who can't share their own story for fears about their safety and protection.

Gemma Chan supports ActionAid's Christmas appeal

Gemma Chan

Human’s actor, Gemma Chan said the stories, particularly Halima's are difficult to hear. But the reality is the fear of violence is a reality for millions of girls who live in the poorest parts of the world.

ActionAid is working to transform the lives of the girls who have had so much suffering, and Gemma hopes people will do their part to help protect and support the girls and ensure they're safe from harm.

The piece was constructed to shine a light on the reality for millions of girls in some of the world’s poorest places who are exposed to sexual violence and exploitation. This Christmas, the charity is calling on the UK public to sponsor a girl to keep her safe from harm.

International actor and star of National Treasure, Andrea Riseborough said: “I wanted to be part of this film to give a voice to Mariam who cannot deliver her story herself. I want people to hear these stories, and support ActionAid’s vital campaign to help transform the lives of girls in some of the world’s poorest places and give them a chance to thrive free from violence and discrimination.”

ActionAid works in many of the world’s poorest countries with women and girls who have been a victim of sexual violence in all of its forms. In the short term, the charity provides survivors with a safe place for recovery in the aftermath of an attack, and to find justice. Long-term we work with local women’s groups and public service providers like the police to educate and put a stop to the violence that is destroying so many girls’ lives.

Chief Executive, ActionAid UK Girish Menon said: “This violence can happen to any girl or woman, anywhere.  This Christmas we encourage the UK public to listen to these powerful stories and to support our work by sponsoring a girl living in one of the world’s poorest communities. With child sponsorship, people will be supporting our work tackling the root causes of this horrific violence, and protecting girls from harm so they are able to shape their own futures, and have the opportunity to thrive.”

The first half of the film relates the individuals’ experience of the violence, and the second half shows their hope after receiving support from ActionAid.