Domestic abuse awareness campaign launched in time for Christmas

A CAMPAIGN against domestic abuse has been launched in South Gloucestershire this Christmas.

South Gloucestershire Partnership Against Domestic Abuse, which is made up of agencies including South Gloucestershire Council, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Avon and Somerset Probation Trust, Merlin Housing Society, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, Victim Support and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, aims to target friends and relatives in the run up to Christmas.

Launching during South West Domestic Violence Abuse, it is hoped the ‘help someone this Christmas by speaking out’ campaign will raise awareness about domestic abuse. The campaign is encouraging people to speak out if they know a family or friend is suffering abuse at a time of year when traditionally family and friends get together.

Charlotte Leason, senior community safety project officer, said: “We recognise that domestic abuse is not an easy subject to talk about but we want to reassure people that there is help out there.

“We are launching our campaign ‘help someone this Christmas by speaking out’ to target people who suspect a friend or family member is suffering from domestic abuse. “Don’t let their Christmas be ruined – support them to contact the appropriate services for help.

“You can seek confidential support and guidance from charities like Survive or speak to someone you’re already in touch with like a housing officer, your GP, health visitor or social worker. We’re all here to help.”

Kimberley, age 28 years from Yate, was in an abusive marriage. Things got worse after the birth of her son but she found support at a post natal baby group where she made a lot of new friends.

Kimberley said: “One of these newly found friends turned out to be more than a best friend, she is my confidant, my guardian angel, a force to be reckoned with.

“She encouraged me to make a choice for both me and my baby. This was the turning point and I thank her every day for holding my hand, willing me forward and going through it all beside me – even now a few years down the line.

“I was able to leave my situation behind thanks to the support of my friends and family. I hope this campaign will give others the confidence to come forward and ask for help.”

A full list of the agencies you can contact for help and advice is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/helpsomeone

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