New domestic abuse campaign urges us all to speak up
More than 47,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to the police in Wales last year, though it is likely there were many more.
Tackling this hidden problem is at the heart of a new Welsh Government campaign, which has recently re-launched – and this time, challenging bystanders to speak up is central.
The new campaign isn’t just calling out to victims of domestic abuse to seek help – it’s galvanising everyone else, the people who ‘don’t want to get involved, because it’s not my place’ or those who think ‘it’s none of my business, I’m sure they know what they’re doing.’
Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews explains his vision for the campaign: “Domestic abuse is not always easy to spot and signs can go unnoticed for months, even years. With so many victims of domestic abuse, the chances are we all know someone who is suffering. We must watch out for the warning signs and speak out if we see them.
“Anyone can call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline at any time and I would encourage anyone who is worried that a friend, family member or colleague is a victim of domestic abuse to do so.”
The freephone, confidential All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline provides advice on how to help others 24 hours a day, while livefearfree.org.uk provides extensive advice about the tell-tale signs to look out for if you suspect somebody is suffering at the hands of their partner.
The Helpline is managed by Welsh Women’s Aid, and Chief Executive Officer Eleri Butler echoes the Minister’s message, “No matter how ‘silly’, or melodramatic you might think you sound, please, please call us. If you have any doubt in your mind about the welfare of a friend, neighbour or colleague, it’s worth speaking to us to put your own mind at rest, or maybe even help support somebody who is suffering domestic abuse.
“Our aim is to raise public awareness of domestic abuse and demonstrate that it can happen anywhere, and to anyone.”
This is the second in a series of campaigns designed to support the ground-breaking Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act which received Royal Assent on 29th April.
If you think you know someone suffering from domestic abuse, or are a victim yourself, call the free, 24-hour confidential Helpline now on 0808 80 10 800 or visit www.livefearfree.org.uk for further information.