This article is to alert you to a very serious type of crime that is very likely happening in our own community, right now. You may not be aware that it is happening, but the police tell us that it takes place EVERYWHERE – cities, towns, villages, rural areas – so our neighbourhood is definitely not immune.
The crime is domestic abuse, and it is ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their families. As many as two million people are believed to be victims of domestic abuse. The local police and Neighbourhood Watch are keen to raise public awareness of it so that it comes more out into the open and victims can get the help they need. If we can identify more victims and provide them with the support they need to leave an abusive relationship, we can save more lives and send a stronger signal to perpetrators that such behaviour will not be tolerated in our community.
Once you know what to look for, it is relatively easy to spot the signs that a person may be a victim of domestic abuse. Armed with the right knowledge, you can play an important part in tackling this terrible crime.
Neighbourhood Watch has created an online information pack about domestic abuse – what it is, how it happens, who is most at risk, what the signs are, and what to do if you suspect someone you know is a victim. You can find this pack here: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/crimes-archive/domestic-abuse/ and if you go to the Toolkit section here: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/crimes-archive/toolkit-2/ you can find several more websites and resources that will help you understand and identify this awful crime and learn what you can do about it.
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, for help and advice on what to do. The number is 0808 2000 247.