Partner organisations across the Liverpool City Region have teamed up to launch a new domestic abuse campaign at 11am today – telling anyone experiencing abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic: #YouAreNotAlone.
Led by Merseyside Resilience Forum and Wirral Council, the multi-agency initiative aims to raise awareness, remind those experiencing abuse that support is still available, and encourage victims to report incidents to the police.
Both locally and nationally, there is growing concern about the threat of domestic abuse due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Home Office recently launched the #YouAreNotAlone hashtag across the UK – a move that was welcomed by domestic abuse charities and campaigners.
Adopting the Home Office Hashtag, the new Merseyside-wide campaign takes urgent action to spotlight the issue at a local level; working alongside a range of support agencies who offer specialist domestic abuse advice all year round.
It highlights where anyone worried about abuse can get help on a range of issues, including:
- creating a personal safety plan
- how to report concerns about a friend or neighbour
- where local businesses can get guidance on supporting staff when abuse is suspected
Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“Staying safe at home can feel tough at times for most of us, even when we think of our homes as safe places. But for some people their homes are not safe. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, and perpetrators are using this lockdown as a way to further isolate and abuse their victims physically, emotionally, sexually and financially.
“If you need help, please know that you are not alone, there is professional support available right now, there are people who can help you to safety. If you know someone that needs help, if you’re concerned about a friend or neighbour, your action could be a lifeline for someone who is suffering.”
DCC Serena Kennedy, Chair of Merseyside Resilience Forum, said: “Sadly, we know that staying home isn’t a safe option for everyone. For those experiencing abuse, getting out of the house to buy essentials can be a way of escape. But while everyone’s daily movements are restricted more than usual, perpetrators could be using the lockdown to further isolate, restrict, and control their victims.
“Local agencies offering advice on this issue are appreciated more than ever. Working together, we hope to reach as many people as possible to make domestic abuse one less thing to fear at this already uncertain time.”
Useful information for anyone worried about domestic abuse is available at: www.safersthelens.org.uk/pages/you-are-not-alone/