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Businesses asked to help stop domestic abuse

24 November 2022

A new leaflet explaining how to support a friend or family member who is experiencing domestic abuse is being sent out to a range of businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership, which is part of Cambridgeshire County Council, is asking businesses such as hairdressers, solicitors, health clubs and supermarkets to display the leaflets in public areas.

The leaflets, which are also being sent to dentists and places of worship, offer information on recognising the signs of domestic abuse as well as advice on how people can safely support a loved one. Details of local and national support services are also featured, including the new Domestic Abuse Support Service (DASS). DASS offers support, information and advice to people of any gender or sexuality across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and can be contacted on freephone 0300 373 1073 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or by emailing DASSReferrals@impakt.org.uk.

The distribution of the leaflets coincides with White Ribbon Day on 25 November, which is also the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

White Ribbon is a UK charity which aims to end male violence against women and girls.

Cambridgeshire County Council has White Ribbon Accreditation for the work it does around addressing male violence. If you head up a local organisation – such as a sports club, school or you are a local employer - and would like to become a White Ribbon Ambassador or champion linked to the council, email: DASV@Cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

More information about White Ribbon can be found at www.whiteribbon.org.uk.

Cllr Neil Shailer, White Ribbon Ambassador for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “A big thank you to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership for its ongoing work to highlight ways we can spot the signs of domestic abuse and how we can help, or where to ask.

“We need to do what we can to stop the horror of violence and also spot early signs in order to change what is acceptable and expected in our society. Domestic abuse can include intimidation, belittling and control of another person as well as the physical abuse that we may be more familiar with.

“Also, when we witness such behaviour, it can point to further ongoing abuse that is hidden away. Let’s work together for a healthier and more supportive society.”

The Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership is also asking people to learn how they can safely speak up if they witness abuse and harassment against women and girls.

The partnership is supporting the Government’s Enough campaign which explains how you can intervene safely. This is being done through the local Bystander campaign which can be viewed at: https://www.cambsdasv.org.uk/web/bystander_information/622018

The campaign signposts people who may later be present at an incident to a number of resources including free domestic abuse elearning, the Ask Me programme run by Cambridge Women’s Aid and a short film from Stand Up Against Street Harassment.

Superintendent John Massey is a White Ribbon Ambassador for Cambridgeshire County Council and highlighted work that Cambridgeshire Constabulary are doing via their Safer Streets project: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary supports White Ribbon Day every year to remind everyone of our shared determination to eliminate violence against women and girls.

“This year we particularly want to highlight the partnership’s Bystander campaign and our joint ‘Know Violence’ social media campaign. These campaigns draw attention to the realities of sexual harassment, domestic abuse and the intolerable behaviour some women are subjected to in public - and how we can all stand up and put a stop to it.”

For more information on the Enough campaign, visit: https://enough.campaign.gov.uk/help-stop-it.