As part of the ‘16 Days of Action on Domestic Abuse Campaign’, Somerset County Council is urging friends and family to be vigilant and stand up to domestic abuse.
The international campaign, which runs from 25 November to 10 December, highlights the need for everyone to call out domestic abuse and act if they think someone is experiencing it.
Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, making it likely that we all know someone who may be suffering behind closed doors.
If you are worried that someone you know might be experiencing domestic abuse, there are steps you can take to help.
It can be daunting and a huge responsibility helping someone who’s living with domestic abuse. If you’re unsure what to do, then you can contact the local Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 69 49 999 for advice or email SIDAS@somerset.gov.uk.
Somerset County Council offer support through their service, Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS). Their website contains information on how to access confidential help and advice if you have a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who you think may be in a relationship with a partner or an adult family member who has been abusive towards them. Find out more at: https://somersetsurvivors.org.uk/somerset-survivors/support-for-a-friend-or-family-member/
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Executive Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset County Council, said:
“Calling out domestic abuse is everyone’s business. I urge you to think about your friends, family and work colleagues – if you think they are experiencing domestic abuse, then you could be right.
“With the right support from our Domestic Abuse Service, either by calling them or visiting their website, you could make a huge difference in someone’s life – by starting the process that will free them from abuse. Everyone has a basic human right to live free from domestic abuse.”
As part of the campaign the council has also launched an employers’ toolkit which can be downloaded from the site which aims to aid employers on how to support their employees and help tackle domestic abuse.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 49 69 999.
In an emergency you should always dial 999, if you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent and dial 55 for help.