MORE than 3,000 cases of domestic abuse have been reported to police in Warrington during the pandemic.
Warrington Refuge, an independent domestic abuse service, received 1,399 referrals from victims – men, women and 68 children.
Now the borough council and partners are asking the public to show support for domestic abuse victims during the annual White Ribbon 16 Days of Action campaign which runs until December 10.
The initiative is a worldwide movement that promotes an end to domestic abuse.
In the UK, three women are killed each week because of domestic abuse and 1 in 4 women will experience physical abuse at some point during their lifetimes. Domestic abuse also affects 1 in 6 men.
Recently the government launched a public awareness raising campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time and that you can leave your home to go to a place of safety.
The council’s cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin said: ”Our experience with COVID-19 has shown our huge capacity for compassion and love for one another as we have come together to help those most in need. Domestic abuse is everyone’s business and what is needed now, more than ever, is to ensure anyone experiencing domestic abuse is aware of the confidential support available.
“I hope these campaigns will reach the thousands of people experiencing domestic abuse, helping send the message – you are not alone. Agencies in Warrington are united in their determination to tackle the issue and these campaigns are an opportunity to recognise and reflect on the good work done so far to support victims. However, we also must acknowledge how much more we need to do to ensure that domestic abuse is not something that is allowed to be quietly endured or ignored.”
The campaign also reinforces that domestic abuse is unacceptable in any circumstances. The national respect helpline provides confidential support for those who want to change their abusive behaviour – respectphoneline.org.uk.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Matt Smith said: “Not only are women and men experiencing unacceptable behaviour from partners, ex-partners and family members, but their children are suffering harmful effects. We need to do everything we can to support families and prevent children from going through this awful experience and to show victims of domestic abuse, that they are not on their own.”
Warrington Refuge, an independent domestic abuse service, provides confidential advice and support for hundreds of women, men and young people each year. If you’ve been affected by domestic abuse call 01925 243 359 or visit refuge.org.uk/warrington for more information.
For more information and advice visit warrington.gov.uk/domesticabuse
There is a freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge and you can find out more by going onto their website nationaldahelpline.org.uk.