Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is raising awareness of how domestic abuse can affect anyone in our society ahead of this year’s White Ribbon Day.
David Keane brought partners and dignitaries from across Cheshire together to discuss how anyone can become a victim of domestic abuse and how organisations across the county can work together to tackle it.
It is part of a week long campaign by the commissioner to reduce the stigma of domestic abuse which will see him visit service providers across Cheshire including a visit at a women’s refuge.
The event held today (Monday 19 November 2018) at Stockton Heath Police Station provided an opportunity for service providers to highlight the work being carried out in Cheshire to tackle domestic abuse.
Representatives from Cheshire Without Abuse, LGBT+ charity Body Positive, Cheshire’s Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit, restorative justice service Remedi and domestic abuse teams from Cheshire’s local authorities showcased the work they do to support victims of domestic abuse and manage the risks caused by perpetrators.
They highlighted the effects of domestic abuse on all genders, families, older people and the LGBT+ community with the latest stats* revealing that:
- Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
- 1 in 5 children have been exposed to domestic abuse
- 1 in 5 teenagers have been physically abused by their boyfriends or girlfriends
- 49% of gay and bi men have been the victim of at least one incident of domestic abuse perpetrated by either a family member of partner since the age of 16
- Domestic abuse disproportionately affects older people, those with a disability and those with mental health difficulties
David said: “I am proud to be an ambassador for the White Ribbon campaign which aims to end male violence against women, once and for all. But I want to raise awareness that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse irrespective of their gender or personal characteristics.
“Abusive behaviour can occur in any relationship and there is a higher prevalence of abuse among vulnerable people. This abuse can get worse over time and can range from physical violence to emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
“As a representative for victims of crime and vulnerable people across Cheshire, I want to stand together with all the organisations that work hard to support victims of domestic abuse and manage the risks caused by perpetrators to stamp-out this issue in society.”
Last month, the commissioner launched a new initiative to change attitudes and behaviour associated with domestic abuse across Cheshire. The Open the Door campaign aims to bring the issue into the open by starting a conversation and removing the stigma of it being a hidden issue.
The campaign is a collaboration between Cheshire Police and the four local authorities in Cheshire. It is the first time they have all joined forces to provide information for residents to access around what help and support is available to them locally.
“The Open the Door campaign is encouraging people to talk about domestic abuse and advising them where they can seek help if they find themselves or someone they know in an abusive relationship.
“Following the initial launch of the initiative, we are now planning on working with local businesses to talk to them about the important role they can play in society’s response to domestic abuse.
“We want Cheshire businesses to use the Open the Door campaign to support and signpost their employees to services if and when they need support”, added David.
To find out more about the Open the Door campaign, please visit http://www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk/
*Data sourced from Safe Lives, Stonewall and Broken Rainbow