International Domestic Abuse Awareness Day 2017Safer Stronger North Somerset
International Domestic Abuse Awareness Day is on Saturday 25 November and many people who have lived with domestic abuse say that the best help they received came from a friend or family member. Often, this support was what helped them to escape the situation with their children.
At the same time many callers to the local domestic abuse helpline ask for help for a friend or loved one as they suspect that something is wrong but don’t know what to say or do. Sometimes people are afraid of interfering or of making things worse.
Now North Somerset Council and partner agencies have teamed up to produce a booklet to help people in just this situation. ‘Domestic Abuse: friend and family help guide’ was written by Doctor Alison Gregory of the University of Bristol and is packed full of tips and advice for anyone worried that someone they know is living with abuse and needs help.
Domestic abuse is always the fault of the abuser but sometimes there are things that others can do to help those affected. Melissa remembers how she fled her violent husband with her two young children three years ago after her son tried to run away. She describes how the mother of her son’s friend knocked on her door to offer her help: “If Lin hadn’t turned up that day I never would have got away. I was too scared and confused…… She just sat me down, made us a cup of tea and helped me work out what I needed to do. It may not have seemed much but it saved my life”.
If you need to talk to someone for advice about domestic abuse call the DAFFs helpline 0800 6949 999 9am to 5pm to talk to Gemini Services who offer local support and advice. Outside these hours call the 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge 0808 2000 247.