Anti-abuse drive launch
ANEW campaign to help bring domestic abuse out from behind closed doors was launched last week across Halton Warrington and Cheshire.
‘Open The Door’ aims to give people the tools to feel safe and confident to start a conversation about unhealthy relationships and to take the first steps to seek advice and support.
Young people have helped to launch the campaign.
They have taken part in activities to help raise their awareness of domestic abuse and in particular teenage relationship abuse.
Activities included teenage relationship abuse quizzes, relationship bingo and healthy relationships.
Jamie, one of the young people attending the event, said: “The activities are helpful for all different ages and help to understand relationships.”
Last year Cheshire Constabu- lary recorded 2,887 domestic abuse crimes and 833 resulted in injury.
The campaign encourages victims, perpetrators, friends and family to access information about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and how to get early help.
Many of the initial signs and symptoms of abuse can be tricky to spot from the outside so the campaign is asking people to trust their instincts.
Some of the signs to look out for are: ● Undermining you, so you lose confidence. ● Isolating you from your friends and family. ● Making all the decisions in your life, including what you wear, who you talk to and where you go and when. ● Making you do things that you don’t want to do. ● Controlling your money. ● Following you when you go out. ● Needing to know where you are at all time.
Rachel is a domestic abuse survivor who asked for help.
She said: “I feel more confident in myself and have regained my self-esteem and some control of the way I feel. I have gained more confidence in myself now and I want to live my life.
“I know what to look for in future relationships and have the confidence and strength to do it alone.”
Police And Crime Commissioner David Keane is spearheading the initiative.
He said: “Cheshire’s Open The Door campaign will promote self-help and early intervention for people who are experiencing domestic abuse.
“It will encourage residents to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and be confident in speak- ing openly about it in order to get help either for themselves or to help someone who is in an abusive relationship.
“It is very often family members or close friends who can see when a relationship is not healthy, or doesn’t seem quite right so this campaign is encouraging friends and family to understand how to spot abuse and then to have the confidence to have the right conversation to support someone they are worried about.
“Encouragingly, research carried out reveals that, once support has been received, 80% of people felt safer.
“If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn’t quite feel right, speak to someone about it.”
For help and advice and to access self-support services at openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 7047, option 2.
Zara Woodcock, ACC Janette McCormick, ‘photobomber’ Jamie, Ch Insp Alex McMillan, and PCC David Keane at the launch