Awareness campaign for domestic abuse victims launched
- Credit: PA
The Home Secretary has kicked off a public awareness campaign to ensure those experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse know of the help on offer.
Priti Patel, in addition to announcing the campaign on Saturday, has also revealed talks are ongoing to provide charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner with an additional £2million to bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support.
The fresh injection of cash is aimed at ensuring victim support is available after charities reported a surge in activity since the social distancing guidelines came into force almost three weeks ago.
Ms Patel said on Saturday that the National Domestic Abuse Helpline received a 120 per cent increase in calls in a 24-hour period last week.
The government’s public awareness campaign, under the hashtag £YouAreNotAlone, will aim to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during the UK lockdown.
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Speaking at Saturday’s daily press conference, Ms Patel said: “When it comes to hidden abuse, the message is simple: you are not alone and you are not on your own.
“And our message to the abusers and the perpetrators of these crimes is equally as clear: you will not get away with the crimes that you are committing.”
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She added: “Our priority is to get the abusers out but sadly this is not always possible so, where a victim and their children do need to leave, we will ensure that they have a safe place to go to.
“Our new campaign will absolutely highlight the support that is available to victims of domestic abuse, and that advice of staying home, obviously, if you are at risk, does not apply.”
Ms Patel also highlighted the risks of an increase in online child abuse.
The campaign will publicise the support available, including the free 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline number - 0808 2000 247 - run by Refuge, and www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
During the press conference, Ms Patel also said that people who need urgent help can call 999, pressing 55 if the person is unable to speak.
From next week, adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help will run across social media and materials will be made available, including to charities and supermarkets.