No excuse for domestic abuse

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Angus Violence Against Women Partnership (AVAWP) will highlight the plight of women who experience domestic abuse during the 16 Days of Action campaign, which runs from November 25 to International Human Rights Day on December 10.

The partnership draws together representatives from Tayside Police, NHS Tayside, Angus Council, Barnardos, Angus Women’s Aid Respect & Equality (AWARE) and voluntary groups which work to eliminate all forms of violence against women.

The 16 days of action campaign for the elimination of violence against women includes local initiatives including sessions in schools on internet and dating safety, information displays in local leisure centres and at bus stops across Angus, leaflets and posters displayed in libraries, ACCESS offices and at Angus College highlighting the issues as well as the White Ribbon campaign, which urges men and boys to wear a white ribbon for one week as a personal pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women, which received support and endorsement from Royal Marines at RM Condor and local football clubs.

The launch of the Safe not Scared Toolkit for teachers will take place at Forfar Academy on Monday, December 5.

The aim of the toolkit, which has been distributed to all pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools, is to promote positive healthy relationships and the prevention of domestic abuse.

During 16 Days, AWARE will be conducting a street survey in towns across Angus to test the public’s knowledge of domestic abuse.

On Monday December 12 they will host an exhibition of related art and poetry in the Arbroath Harbour Visitor Centre between 12 noon and 4pm.

Dr Julia Egan, chair of AVAWP says: “Here in Angus, police deal with around 1,000 incidents of domestic abuse each year and we know that many more cases go unreported. All forms of violence and abuse are unacceptable and victims need not suffer in silence. There are a range of services in place in Angus to meet the needs of women and children who are affected by domestic abuse.

“The White Ribbon Campaign is a great way for men and boys to get involved and do something to help prevent male violence against women. The lives of many of their female partners, friends, sisters and daughters can be horribly damaged by this type of violence so it’s important that as many men as possible support the campaign.”

“One of the most effective things they can do is simply speaking out if their friends or relatives insult or attack women. By doing so they will eventually help to create a culture where the behaviour of a minority, who treat women or girls with contempt or violence becomes completely unacceptable.

“The Royal Marines are important role models in the community and I am absolutely delighted they are taking a lead and have agreed to support this year’s campaign.”

Robert Peat, Chair of the Community Care and Health Partnership said: “The message is clear: there is no excuse for domestic abuse, whatever form it takes, and we urge anyone experiencing abuse to seek help.”

He added: “In 90% of cases, children are in the same room or nearby when their mother is being attacked. That means that in Scotland a very high number of children effectively “live” with domestic abuse.

For further help visit: www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk, www.avawp.org.uk or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234.