There are many forms of domestic abuse not all of which are physical violence
Domestic abuse involves the misuse of power and is based on a range of control tactics, which include: physical, sexual, psychological, social or economic abuse, or neglect of an individual. Forced marriage and honour crimes are also forms of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is a crime, that is largely hidden behind closed doors, and leaves its victims feeling powerless and isolated. Domestic abuse is rarely a one off event and can be experienced for many years. Some people don’t even realise they are being abusive but that doesn’t make it acceptable or that you have to tolerate it.
Do you feel afraid of someone in your life who is supposed to care about you, but hurts you deliberately or doesn't let you live your life the way you want to? Please don't suffer in silence. Get confidential advice and suport by calling the FREE helpline: Women: 0800 980 3331 / Men: 0800 014 9082
Residents in Worcestershire can report abuse in confidence by contacting their local police by phoning 101, or in an emergency dialling 999. Additional support can also be found on Counselling Directory.
The Forum are pleased to announce that through Respect not Fear the release of their FREE iPhone and iPod App promoting Healthy Relationships.
The App is a smaller version of the Respect not fear website (accessed via the Children and Young People tab) on the forum website and contains information about relationships. Once downloaded it can provide a young person with instant access to important information and support services. It also has the pledge, pyramid and respect'o'meter games that can be played.
Take a look at the excellent film produced by Women's Aid as part of Teenspeak
Police and partners working together to reduce domestic abuse in the West Mercia force area will have new powers to help protect people from the problem. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - also known as Clare’s Law - was launched in West Mercia.
The scheme gives people the "right to ask" police whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If records show that an individual might be at risk of domestic violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so.
For example, a mother or father could make an application on behalf of their daughter or son if they are concerned a new partner might be violent. If it meets the criteria, information will be disclosed directly to the daughter or son concerned or to a third person for the purposes of protecting the son or daughter from domestic abuse.
The police can also use the "right to know" to proactively disclose information to an individual to protect a potential victim of domestic abuse. That enables an agency to apply for a disclosure if the agency believes that an individual is at risk of domestic violence from their partner.
Anyone concerned about whether a new or existing partner has a violent past can visit the front desk of their nearest police station, ring 101 in the first instance or speak to a police officer. Information about the scheme will also be available online. The applicant would need to provide relevant information and checks would be done to confirm their identity. If anyone believes there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, they should always call 999.
DOMESTIC ABUSE PROJECTS
A unique art project was launched last year to help local victims of abuse.
Organised by The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, the project – entitled The Art of Expression – aimed to provide a safe space for people affected by domestic abuse to express themselves and their story in a visual way.
Workshops were headed up by artist Peter Tinkler; shortlisted for the Newcastle Young Artist of the Year Award, 2011, Peter has degrees in both Illustration and Animation as well as a scholarship in Layout Drawing and Storyboarding from Colaiste Dhulaigh, Dublin. A regular exhibitor, Peter’s work has been shown in London, Birmingham and Newcastle.
The Forum received artwork that expressed what domestic abuse meant to individuals – paintings, drawings, photographs or poems. Artwork was created individually and as groups with a brief overview of what story the picture told and why it was chosen as well as approval to display the details in an exhibition.
The completed artwork has been presented at a series of special exhibitions throughout the county during the 16 Days of Action and will continue to be displayed at various events.
Please take a moment to read a couple of the powerful poems submitted by those affected by domestic abuse.
School Poems and Davids's poem
Check out these really useful infographics on domestic violence from Laker Legal solicitors. The infographic provides an outline of the different types of abuse, the scale of the problem – along with some myths debunked and the legal action which can be taken against the perpetrators. Their key message is that there are now many agencies which can support victims of domestic abuse to take legal and practical steps to end their abuse. http://www.russellwebster.com/legal-protection-from-domestic-violence/