Domestic abuse campaign begins

A MAJOR campaign aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic abuse by educating victims and their loved ones about the signs of the behaviour and how to seek help has been launched today.

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With the strap-line,‘Would you know it if you saw it?, the 16-day campaign, set up by the Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board, is part of a three-year strategy to tackle domestic abuse. Authorities want to focus on three areas: prevention, protection and provision.

Issues which will be focused on over the three years include identifying abusive behaviour, holding perpetrators to account and knowing which agencies victims or their loved ones can contact.

Less recognised types of domestic abuse include emotional, financial and sexual abuse.

The final phase of the three-year strategy is due to focus on provision and aims to shine a light on the work of the various domestic abuse agencies for the benefit of the public.

Carly Lucas, an independent domestic and sexual violence adviser, said: ‘When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on physical violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in an intimate relationship to dominate and control the other regardless of age, gender or sexuality. Emotional abuse and controlling behaviour can often be far more damaging and have longer-lasting effects than physical abuse.’

Detective Inspector Cathy Davison said: ‘Reports of domestic abuse have been increasing in Jersey, so we want to ensure that both victims and their families are able to access the right help and support through a co-ordinated Island approach. In addition, to help highlight the importance of a healthy relationship as opposed to one associated with controlling behaviour, violence and abuse.’

Members of the Domestic Abuse Sub-Groups and Domestic Abuse Campaign Group include Health and Community Services, the States police, Jersey Action Against Rape, Jersey Women’s Refuge and Probation and ADAPT.

Sarah Elliott, chairwoman of the Safeguarding Partnership Board, said: ‘The JSPB’s Domestic Abuse Sub Group, along with partner agencies, have been working hard to deliver this important campaign, which is part of our three-year strategy. We want to build awareness of domestic abuse and the devastating impact that it has on victims, while also signposting what help and support is available to Islanders to help protect them.’

Support is available from the following:

  • Jersey Domestic Abuse Support – 880505.

  • States police (non-emergency) – 612612.

  • Jersey Women’s Refuge – 768368.

  • Victim Support – 440496.

  • Jersey Action Against Rape – 482800.

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