January 8, 2022

Campaign highlights that help is available for victims of domestic violence

Stencils raising awareness of the support available for victims of domestic violence have appeared in public places in South Oxfordshire and the White Horse Valley.

The South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are working with the local charity Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse to highlight the issue. They stenciled messages in district council parking lots as part of “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” an annual international campaign that began on November 25 with White Ribbon Day – the international day. for the elimination of violence against women, and ends on December 10 with Human Rights Day.

Stencils ask one of three questions:

  • Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells?
  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Are you worried that someone you know will be checked?

and also include the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service hotline 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-4) and the Reducing the Risk website Reductiontherisk.org.uk, where people can go for help and advice.

According to the Office for National Statistics, nearly one in three women aged 16 to 59 will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, two women per week are killed by a current or former partner in England and the United Kingdom alone. Wales, and one in six men will suffer from it. domestic violence at some point in their life.

The councils also have several other programs and projects that help keep residents safe and ensure they have access to assistance if they need it, including Ask for Angela, Safe Places, and Safe Journey, Safe Destination.

Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Domestic violence can be terrifying for those who experience it. Not just violence, but also verbal intimidation and coercive control which can often occur out of sight of others. It is very important that victims and their loved ones know that help is available and know how to get help.

Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Welfare at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Far too many lives are seriously affected by domestic violence in this country, with victims often feeling powerless. We hope this campaign will encourage people to talk about the problem and its impact on families and encourage victims to seek help and support.

Romy Briant MBE, President of Reducing the Risk, said: “The number of adults and children in our community who are at significant risk from domestic violence has increased dramatically during the pandemic; but we were able to work together across the community to provide support for safety and well-being. It is so important that victims who are still trapped in abusive homes know that whether they are looking at our website, calling the helpline, or just talking to someone about whatever service they use, they will find help they can trust.

Cllr Helen Pighills wrote stenciled messages to Abingdon on supporting victims of domestic violence

Editorial Notesrs

All posts will be stenciled with washable chalk spray paint, courtesy of the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

The latest national statistics from March 2020 show:

  • an estimated 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74 were victims of domestic violence from April 2019 to March 2020 (1.6 million women and 757,000 men)
  • police recorded 758,941 domestic violence crimes in England and Wales

Available data sources also show that during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • there was a 7% increase in police-recorded offenses reported as related to domestic violence between March and June 2020, compared to the same period the previous year; however, there has been a gradual increase in these offenses over the past few years, so it is impossible to determine if this can be directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • there was generally an increase in demand for domestic violence victim support services, including a 65% increase in calls and contacts recorded by the national domestic violence helpline between April and June 2020, compared to the first three months of the year
  • The increase in demand for domestic violence assistance was particularly noticeable following the easing of lockdown measures in mid-May, such as a 12% increase in the number of domestic violence cases handled by Victim Support during the week lockout restrictions were relaxed, compared to the previous week; this reflects the difficulties victims have in seeking help safely during the lockdown
  • the increase in demand for services to support victims of domestic violence does not necessarily indicate an increase in the number of victims, but perhaps an increase in the severity of the violence experienced and a lack of available coping mechanisms , such as being able to leave home to escape abuse, or attend counseling

For more information, please see the Office for National Statistics website.

Learn more about how district councils support people’s safety:

Ask for Angela – People who don’t feel safe, vulnerable or threatened can quietly ask for help by approaching staff at locations across the district and asking them for “Angela.”

Safe Places – Anyone who feels vulnerable or in distress can easily identify a safe place by the recognizable logo and seek safety and assistance.

‘Safe Travel, Safe Destination’ – Vale of White Horse District Council is working with the City of Oxford on a project to reduce the risk of violence against women and girls at the start and end of their journey. of an evening.

The councils also work with licensed premises to provide resources for staff to raise awareness of women’s safety, including syringe doping and drinks.

For more information, visit southoxon.gov.uk/communitysafety or whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communitysafety

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