A group of Mothers’ Union members stood together in a silent vigil outside Ely Cathedral on Saturday for a Global Day of Action.

The group wanted to highlight the devastating fact that one in three women around the world are subjected to physical or sexual violence.

The Ely Diocesan Members were raising awareness as part of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism campaign – which runs from November 25 to December 10 ­– in which more than 6,000 organisations from more than185 countries are taking part to call for an end to gender-based violence and abuse in all forms.

Gender based violence is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can affect anyone at any time and it takes many forms. It can be part of a damaging cultural norm or hidden behind closed doors in homes in every village, town or city; it can be very difficult for the victims to ask for help.

Around two dozen Mothers’ Union Members from branches across Ely Diocese, met for a silent 30-minute vigil and prayers inside the cathedral, before assembling outside the main doors for the one-minute’s silence at exactly 1.03pm – the time reflecting the one in three statistic of women experiencing abuse.

“The event at Ely Cathedral was part of the ‘No More 1 in 3 Campaign’, (#Nomore1in3) drawing to attention a situation that has been highlighted by Mothers’ Union for several years," said Hazel Williams MBE, Diocesan president.

"The shocking statistic is echoed around the world, and here in the UK two women a week are being killed by a partner or former partner. This type of violence has to stop."

In the UK, Mothers' Union, members offer practical support which includes providing essential items for refuges, training and support workshops on gender-based issues in schools and prisons as well as supporting the families of survivors to heal and rebuild important family bonds through its ‘Away From It All’ holidays.

Mothers' Union works in partnership with local domestic abuse organisations and parishes to raise awareness.