Valentine’s day not always a time of love and affection

The health service has launched a campaign against domestic violence to coincide with one of the most romantic times of the year.

The NHS is reminding people that for some, Valentine’s Day is not a time of love, affection or romance but another day filled with fear of domestic abuse.

NHS Outer North East London (ONEL) launched its campaign today, on Valentine’s Day, featuring its own Valentine’s card.


The card is printed with the telephone numbers and details of national and local domestic violence services. Copies are being distributed to health visiting teams and GPs across the area for them to give to clients and patients.

“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who have been partners or family members, is domestic violence,” said Victoria Hill, domestic violence lead for ONEL.

“This includes so called ‘honour-based violence’, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Domestic violence doesn’t just stop because it’s Valentine’s Day.

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“Domestic violence happens right here on our doorstep and has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of victims and their children.

“The hidden cost to the NHS across our area in responding to domestic violence is estimated to be a massive �29.6million a year.”

According to police figures, there were 1,901 reports of domestic violence incidents in Barking and Dagenham in 2010 and 1,671 in 2011.