DCSIMG

Campaign to tackle domestic violence

Picture posed by models. Silhouette of a woman protecting herself from a blow from her partner by holding her arms in front of her face.

Picture posed by models. Silhouette of a woman protecting herself from a blow from her partner by holding her arms in front of her face.

Women are being urged not to suffer in silence at the hands of a partner but instead Take the Step and Make the Call.

Powerful images of victims of domestic violence will be appearing across Lancashire designed to empower women and encourage them to break free from abusive relationships.

And the innovative campaign, which addresses all kinds of abuse from verbal to sexual and financial, sees the posters come to life with “talking” messages that urge the listener to seek help and take action.

The campaign has been developed by Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner and the county’s wide network of domestic abuse services on behalf of the Safer Lancashire network, with the aim of demonstrating a county-wide commitment to connecting with victims and stamping out domestic abuse.

It comes just two weeks after Lancashire County Council, the PCC and Lancashire Constabulary joined together to sign the White Ribbon pledge to help end domestic violence, and has been developed after extensive consultation with domestic abuse victims and service providers across the county.

“This campaign is aimed at encouraging victims to break the cycle and get help and we want victims to know that they will be treated sensitively and with respect.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Domestic abuse is a problem which affects all sections of society, it comes in many forms and there is no stereotypical victim.

“It is something I am committed to tackling as Police and Crime Commissioner, but it is also a problem which society as a whole has a stake in solving.

“Communities across Lancashire need to ensure domestic abuse is not accepted in any form.

“This campaign is aimed at helping women realise there is an alternative to an abusive relationship and they can get help online or by calling the national helpline number.

“I hope the campaign will empower victims to realise they are not alone, domestic abuse can happen in any type of relationship and they do have a choice to Take the Step and Make the Call.”

Head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley, said: “Domestic abuse is a huge issue and has a significant impact on the overall health and wellbeing of individuals, families and their communities.

“It can happen at any stage of a relationship and is very rarely a ‘one off’.

“Domestic abuse can affect anyone and can happen in all types of relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

“Victims of domestic abuse and their children have the right to live safely in their own home.

“We want to reassure victims that they are not alone and that there is help out there.

“It is important that victims do not suffer in silence, and that we ensure they are confident to speak to the police or the many voluntary services that provide such a valuable support to help victims and prevent further offences.

“Domestic abuse can devastate families and relationships and we are all committed to providing victims with the help and support they deserve.

“This campaign is aimed at encouraging victims to break the cycle and get help and we want victims to know that they will be treated sensitively and with respect.”

And to ensure the campaign reaches out to as many victims as possible each poster has been designed to reflect a different kind of abuse – verbal abuse, physical violence and intimidation, emotional and psychological abuse, economic and financial abuse, isolation and sexual violence.

Residents can interact with the posters using a smart phone or tablet, which will allow them to hear audio files featuring reassuring and empowering messages from female survivors encouraging them to recognise the signs and Take the Step to get help.

Lancashire County Coun Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “By highlighting these issues, we’re hoping that it will make people think about their own situation.

“Many people ignore the problem, or see it as something which doesn’t have anything to do with their situation.

“If you are affected by domestic violence, there is information and support available to help you.”

The campaign also features a selection of posters aimed at Lancashire’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans* community, which have won support from the national charity Broken Rainbow UK.

Joe Barringer, Broken Rainbow chair, said: “Broken Rainbow UK is very pleased to be involved in such an innovative campaign, the talking messages are so powerful.

“Also Safer Lancashire is leading the way by including LGBT people when reaching out around domestic abuse.”

In 2011/12 there were more than 5,000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Lancashire police across the county.

Andrea Baines, Chair of Lancashire Against Domestic Abuse (LADA), said “Each and every one of us has a responsibility to support victims of domestic abuse.

“We urge family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to stand up to domestic abuse and encourage people who are affected to get help.”

All the information about the campaign can be found online at www.takethestep.co.uk.

The National helpline number for anyone seeking help around domestic abuse is 0808 2000 247 and the number for Broken Rainbow UK is 0300 999 5428.

 

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