Don’t keep a secret on domestic violence
Published: Thursday, 22nd December 2016
Don’t keep a secret on domestic violence – that is the message if anyone is worried that a relation, friend or someone else may be experiencing abuse.
Domestic violence takes place all year round. It affects one woman in four at some point in her life. On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. We cannot blame domestic violence on Christmas or issues such as; alcohol, drugs, ill health, financial worries, unemployment, stress or anything else. These are excuses used to justify the perpetrator’s behaviour.
Whilst many people get together with families and friends at Christmas to share the joy of the festive season, for people in abusive relationships it can be one of the hardest times of the year.
Hounslow Council is supporting both local and national campaigns to raise awareness and to encourage people to do something if they think someone is being abused in this way. There is support for both men and women, which includes free confidential one-to-one advice at the Hounslow One Stop Shop, Bath Road, Hounslow, TW3 3EB every Wednesday [except Wednesday 28 December] 10am to 12noon, on issues such as safety, accommodation, legal advice, childcare matters.
It is a drop-in service and also includes advice on sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence, so-called “honour”-based violence, forced marriage, stalking and harassment.
You can also seek advice from the following:
- Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 [run in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge] for 24/7 confidential support and information or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
- National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0800 970 2070 for free urgent legal advice and/or injunctions
- Visit the Refuge website
Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Hounslow Council, said: “If anyone is worried that someone they know is suffering in silence from domestic violence, please don’t just do nothing. Do something.
“Report it in confidence and you might just save someone from what can be fatal consequences. It is hard and even if you think you are not sure, just speak to someone and it can be looked into and in a sensitive way.
“For those who are suffering in silence and are too scared to say something because they fear the repercussions, please come and see someone at our one-stop-shop or contact the numbers and online charities. There is help out there and you don’t have to suffer this alone.
“There is often a stigma or feeling of shame attached to being a victim of domestic violence. It is not shameful, be brave and get help.”
Detective Inspector Helen Flanagan, Hounslow Police Community Safety Unit, said: “Historically there is an increase of domestic abuse around Christmas time, due to additional stress, a larger consumption of alcohol and extended families being together for longer amounts of time.
“We would ask anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse or knows of someone else who is, to seek the appropriate support as well as report any concerns you have to the police.”