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Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25 November 2018

In the run up to International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (also known as ‘White Ribbon Day’) on Sunday 25 November, Knowsley Council is raising awareness of this important issue, including the different types of domestic abuse, as well as the support available to you.

On the day, people are encouraged to wear a white ribbon to pledge their support to ending domestic violence. This year, one of the Knowsley Partnership’s priorities is to raise awareness of domestic abuse with the aim of reducing incidents in local communities. The council, working in partnership with the police, fire service and housing providers, recognise that domestic abuse has many forms and affects many people, including children. Everyone has a part to play in tackling this issue. White ribbons are available to buy in Huyton One Stop Shop and proceeds will be donated to the Service User Fund to assist people who have been affected by domestic abuse in Knowsley.

On Sunday, 25 November, Greystone Footbridge will be illuminated in orange, along with other iconic landmarks in the UK and worldwide. All agencies will then have ’16 days of action’ where raising awareness of domestic abuse, the signs to look out for, the support available, how to report concerns, as well as targeting perpetrators will then follow.

Domestic Abuse Conference – Wednesday 28 November 2018

As part of this activity, Knowsley Council and Sefton Council are hosting a Domestic Abuse Conference on Wednesday 28 November to highlight coercive and controlling behaviour and the impact that it has on victims and children. Guest Speakers include Jacqui Kilburn from Women’s Aid, and professor Evan Stark, who is an award-winning researcher with an international reputation for his innovative work on interpersonal violence.

Coffee morning at The Old School House to support First Step – Friday 23 November 2018

In addition, The First Step is hosting a coffee and cup making morning on Friday 23 November. You can call into to The Old School House, St John’s Road in Huyton between 11am and 2pm to help support the First Step’s work.

Domestic abuse is legally defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality, although partners in Knowsley have recognised that domestic abuse may affect also affect those aged under 16 years.

It can take many forms – physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial. In addition, there are often ‘hidden’ victims – children or other family members who have witnessed or heard domestic abuse.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said:

“Domestic abuse can affect anyone, any age, and it has lasting effects especially with young people and children. Given people don’t recognise they are the victim, it is an often under-reported crime so its true scale and impact aren’t known. Living with domestic abuse is something we want to prevent, so by raising awareness so that you can spot the signs, in yourself and others, is a key priority for the council and its partners. Above all, help and support is available.”

Coercive behaviour includes threats, humiliation and intimidation that is used to punish or frighten the victim. Actions such as controlling money, always criticising and being purposely isolated from friends and family, controlling where the person goes, what they do, or exaggerated expressions of love such as they ‘can’t live without you’. The conference will highlight coercive control, how it can manifest and the effects on victim survivors and children, and some of the challenges in dealing with clients and families where coercive control is a factor.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or can spot the signs in others, independent help and support is available In Knowsley from The First Step on 0151 548 3333 or visit The First Step website.

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