Sefton Council is supporting a new anti-domestic abuse campaign being launched across Cheshire and Merseyside.
‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ is being run by Champs, a collaboration of public health services across the nine local authorities in Cheshire and Merseyside.
It will see a series of awareness raising initiatives to encourage people to talk about domestic abuse.
The campaign asks the public to pledge its support to help end domestic abuse and aims to raise awareness of the issue by encouraging people to talk about it.
Sefton Council is supporting the campaign by having pledge cards, badges and information available at both Southport and Bootle One Stop Shops.
Around 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have suffered domestic abuse. But it’s not just physical violence; emotional or psychological abuse is less well acknowledged but is also domestic abuse.
As part of the campaign, 18 face to face engagement events are set to take place including one at Southport Railway Station on Monday, March 16.
People are also being encouraged to take part in ‘Heart Hands’ pledging their support for the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ campaign by making a heart shape with their hands, posting a video on social media and nominating their friends to do the same.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Older People and Health, said: “We welcome this campaign to encourage people to talk about a hidden subject and we hope that it will lead to more people reporting domestic abuse.”
A number of celebrities have already pledged their support by video to the campaign including award winning actress Crissy Rock from hit TV series Benidorm, Shameless actress Karen Bryson and singer Marcus Collins.
Dr Janet Atherton, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Even in the 21st Century domestic abuse is a taboo subject. This campaign aims to breakdown those boundaries and stop domestic abuse being a hidden issue in communities.
“Sefton Council, housing providers, specialist services and Merseyside Police are working together on the issue of domestic abuse and have recently completed a needs assessment which has provided us with an overview of the key issues facing Sefton.
“Domestic abuse is sadly very common, and there is a lack of understanding that it is more than physical violence. Creating the environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less will help keep people safer in our communities.
“Through this campaign we want to encourage people to pledge their support to end domestic abuse, talk about the issue and join in and make a ‘heart hands’ video for social media.”
Cllr Tricia Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Environment, added: “More needs to be known about the types of domestic abuse out there and what help is available.
“Sefton’s Community Safety Partnership is responding to the need for good services and support in Sefton through the development of a Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy.
“Anything that raises awareness about what domestic abuse is so people can understand the issue and how it can be handled is helpful. Getting people talking about the issue more openly will support our local work and help make communities safer.”
For more information about the campaign, where the engagement events are being held or to find out how you can pledge your support go to www.lovernotfighter.org.uk.
For help and advice on Domestic Violence in Sefton:
Vulnerable Victims Advocacy Team – offers support to high risk victims of domestic abuse (male and female) which includes safety and support planning to help keep them and their families safe. Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4pm
Phone: 0151 934 5142 Email email@example.com
SWACA (Sefton Women’s & Children’s Aid) – offer free and confidential support services to women, young people and children affected by Domestic Abuse. For more information:
Phone: 0151 922 8606 Text: 07779745594 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.swaca.com
Venus Women’s Resource Centre – provides a wide range of support services to women and their families. Open Monday-Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-4pm
Phone 0151 474 4744 or visit www.venuscharity.org
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