We’ve launched a new campaign to help people better understand and support loved ones who they think may be experiencing domestic abuse.
It comes after charities, the national domestic abuse helpline and the police saw an increase in domestic abuse calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jackie Capewell, Operations Manager at Glow, said: “With domestic abuse happening to 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men, it is highly likely it affects someone people know and therefore it’s vital that we all know how to safely start a conversation and support anyone experiencing domestic abuse.”
The campaign coincides with the International 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence, which aims to support women and girl survivors of violence, as well as aiding them to stay safe and free of violence.
Jackie Capewell adds: “Abuse between two people in a relationship can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time.
“It isn’t just physical violence, it’s also when someone purposefully controls, manipulates or threatens another person. Everyone’s experience is different.
“In the past, domestic abuse was seen as something that was no one else’s business and therefore no one’s responsibility. It is in fact everyone’s business and everyone’s responsibility to help bring abuse to an end.”
Jackie explains that sometimes, we may get the feeling that something is not quite right with someone’s relationship and it’s important to do or say something to let them know you are there for them.
She advises starting a conversation about your worries with phrases such as “how are things at home?” or “you seem a bit quiet/down today is everything ok?”
“It’s important to remember though, if they don’t want to talk about it, you have not failed them. They will talk when they are ready and not before, you cannot make that decision for them. Its more important that they know you are there to support them if and when they are ready.” Jackie adds.
“You don’t need to have all the answers, by just listening you will be letting them know that they are not alone, you will be helping them recognise and perhaps admit to themselves for the first time what is happening and you will be letting them know that support is available.”
Our campaign will be running over social media from 25 November until 10 December 2020 and we hope it will help the public better provide support to friends, family and colleagues who may be experiencing domestic abuse, and help them move towards living a life free from abuse.