#talkaboutabuse encourages everyone to look for signs of domestic abuse among their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, to talk about it, and to signpost people to specialist support.
ONS analysis of the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that one in every fifteen women, and one in every 33 men experienced domestic abuse at the hands of their partner or former partner . Around a third of those who are victimised experienced ‘severe force’, and for some this is an almost continuous feature of their lives: three per cent of victims who experienced abuse in the previous year “more than 50 times or too many times to count”.
Research by Citizens Advice (Victims of domestic abuse: struggling for support?) shows that male victims, LGBT individuals, people with English as a second language or with learning difficulties or mental health problems, can struggle to access specialist support, and can face additional barriers to disclosure.
Specialists – in the form of refuges, legal professionals and police, and helplines or support services – play a critical role for many victims. However, many victims don’t engage with these groups, and this is one of the challenges that need addressing.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse, or you are concerned someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, there are national and local organisations there to help:
- If the victim is a woman, you get help from the National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247
- If the victim is a man, you can get help from the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327
- If the victim is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, you can get specialised help from Broken Rainbow on 0300 999 5428
And check out the useful information on the central Citizens Advice website . . .
Locally organisations that can help you include:
- Victim Care Unit – available through their website . . . or call 101 and ask for the Victim Care Unit (Lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday)
- CLEAR is a service for those children and young people who have links to, or who have experienced abusive relationships. These may be defined as sexual, physical, emotional or psychological. They also provide therapy for siblings and the non-abusing carer / parent alongside the child or young person. They are available through their website . . . and @CLEARcornwall on Twitter, phone 01872 540366, and email . . .
- Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) offers support to anyone who is being, or has been, sexually abused – they are available through their website . . . / by email . . . / and help line 01872 262100 (8-30am to 5-15pm plus answer phone)
- Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (WRSAC Cornwall) – they are available through the Rape and Sexual Abuse helpline – 01208 77099 (Monday to Thursday: 10:00am – 1:00pm / Monday 7:30pm – 10:00pm) / Domestic Violence Support Network – 01208 79992 (Monday 7:30pm – 10:00pm / Thursday 10:00am – 1:00pm) and further information is available on their website . . .
- West Cornwall Womens Aid – they are they are available through their website . . . / by email . . . / and helpline 01736 367539 (Lines open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday, with a 24 hour answer phone service)
And check out the information on the Cornwall Council website here . . .