In the run up to Valentine’s Day, Knowsley Council is supporting a new anti-domestic abuse campaign being launched across Cheshire and Merseyside.
‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ is being run by Champs, a collaboration of public health services across the nine local authorities in Cheshire and Merseyside and will see a series of awareness raising initiatives to encourage people to talk about domestic abuse.
The campaign asks the public to pledge their support to help put an end to domestic abuse and aims to raise awareness of the issue by encouraging people to talk about it.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have suffered domestic abuse with two women killed every week in the UK by their partners. But it’s not just physical violence; emotional or psychological abuse is less well acknowledged but is also domestic abuse.
As part of the campaign a number of face to face engagement events are set to take place, with two happening within Knowsley and 18 in total.
The events in Knowsley will take place on Tuesday, 17 February at Kirkby Market and on Thursday, 19 February in Huyton town centre – both events will take place between 10.30am and 3.30pm.
People are also being encouraged to take part in ‘Heart Hands’ pledging their support for the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ campaign by making a heart shape with their hands, posting a video on social media and nominating their friends to do the same.
A number of celebrities have already pledged their support by video to the campaign including award winning actress Crissy Rock from hit TV series Benidorm, Shameless actress Karen Bryson and singer Marcus Collins.
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley said:
“Even in the 21st Century domestic abuse is a taboo subject. This campaign aims to breakdown those boundaries and stop domestic abuse being a hidden issue in communities and ensuring residents know what help and support is available in Knowsley. But there is a lack of understanding about the definition of domestic abuse and that it is more than physical violence.
Creating the environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less will help support our local work and we want to encourage people to pledge their support to end domestic abuse, talk about the issue and join in and make a ‘heart hands’ video for social media.”
Cllr Jackie Harris, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Social Inclusion, added “I fully support this campaign which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse – many people may not know they are victims as domestic abuse is often associated with physical abuse – it is much wider than that and includes a range of issues including emotional and financial issues. There is lots of support available in Knowsley and hopefully through this campaign, more people will come forward, help to raise awareness and access the support the available.”
A domestic abuse survivor “Sarah” who did not wish to be identified said:
“I welcome the campaign and am looking forward to seeing the heart hand symbol being used as part of it as it shows a much more positive activity for your hands. Domestic abuse affects people of all walks of life, regardless of class, gender and position. The more we can do to spread that message the better.”
For more information about the campaign, where the engagement events are being held or to find out how you can pledge your support go to www.lovernotfighter.org.uk.