Hertfordshire organisations to raise awareness of domestic abuse

PUBLISHED: 11:19 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 November 2016

A Welwyn Garden City domestic violence victim was in hospital for four months after an attack last Christmas Eve.

A Welwyn Garden City domestic violence victim was in hospital for four months after an attack last Christmas Eve.

Archant

Police, the county council and their partners in Hertfordshire are joining forces to raise awareness of domestic abuse for the upcoming international "16 days of action" campaign.

It launches today (Friday, November 25) which is White Ribbon Day – marking the campaign to end domestic violence – and runs until world Human Rights Day on Saturday, December 10.

Throughout the period, there will be a number of events held around the county raising awareness of domestic abuse, and in particular this year’s theme in Hertfordshire is of abuse against older people, be it from their partners or family members.

Hertfordshire Constabulary will be supporting the campaign by posting campaign messages on social media as well as updates from the Force’s Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) giving an insight into their daily work to protect victims and their families. The posts will be brought together with the hashtag #16days.

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “Domestic abuse spans genders, backgrounds and importantly generations too. Older people are not immune to abuse from partners or even younger family members.

“This year has seen record investment in tackling domestic abuse in Hertfordshire and in October I approved a further £700,000 to meet the current demand on DAISU. Victims should have greater confidence than ever that their reports will be taken seriously and that help is available.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Ball, Chair of Hertfordshire’s Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, said: “The priority for officers working in our specialist unit, DAISU, is to safeguard victims from abuse. There are a range of steps we can take to support victims and give them the information, time and safety they need to protect themselves and their families.

“All generations need to know this so that no one feels that they cannot reach out for help to protect themselves from coercive, controlling or violent behaviour.”

This year’s campaign, run by the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership, has the theme of abuse against older victims. To get this message across, the Partnership will be distributing specially created refreshment packs at care centres and other venues with advice and guidance for potential victims. These packs contain a mug, coaster and tea and coffee set. Branded as “SafeTea in Numbers”, they contain discrete information about where they can find support in times of need.

Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Older victims of domestic abuse are believed to wait longer before seeking help*. Furthermore many people don’t consider that older people can be victims of domestic abuse and therefore wouldn’t know to lookout for the signs. This could make them more vulnerable and isolated as a result.

“The work we are doing within the 16 days and beyond that is to raise awareness that there is no shame in asking for help, and support is available from services such as through the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline 08 088 088 088 or by visiting the Herts Sunflower website www.HertsSunflower.org.”

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