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A campaign and hashtag is not enough to keep victims of domestic abuse safe

Posted 16/5/2021

A campaign with a new logo is a disappointing response from the Government to safeguard victims of domestic abuse, which feels as though it’s actually minimising the situation.  We have already seen an influx of domestic abuse calls and incidents over the last month, another campaign raising awareness isn’t good enough.  COVID-19 and the lockdown is not creating a crisis in domestic abuse because it’s always been there but now we have no other alternative but to confront it.  A campaign with a pretty little log and a hashtag is not going to keep anyone safe.

It’s a good start but it’s not enough.

Will 2 million even be enough to fix the cuts that domestic abuse safe houses and charities have already had as well as dealing with the here and now?

Leaving an abusive relationship, victims are vulnerable, abusers don’t know how to deal with rejection and will still do all they can to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.  Even though the victim has found the strength and courage to leave that relationship, doesn’t mean that the abuse is going to stop.  Harassment, stalking, intimidation are just some of the consequences that follow after leaving an abuser.  2 women in England and Wales are killed by a partner or former partner; that is the reality of domestic abuse.  This isn’t the time for fluffy new campaigns, this is the time to do something constructive to help give a clear and strong message that we will not accept or tolerate domestic abuse.

As soon as a victim makes that call, a strategy must then immediately be put in place to help keep the victim safe and not to go back to the arms of their abuser.  To me, this is a quick put-a-plaster-on-it-fix.

Where is the long term plan?

It’s deeply concerning that the Government doesn’t have a strategy in place to help victims into safe homes – alternative accommodation for victims must be provided.  The biggest question ever asked is, why don’t you just leave?  I think we now have our answer to that – because there are no safe houses to go to!

Domestic abuse is all about power and control and someone from the Government really needs to take full control of this situation.  Domestic abuse is not a game.  It’s not just a case of leaving the relationship and life going back to normal, we are talking about rebuilding lives here.

In the UK, domestic abuse has increased alarmingly, we need to give more than “you are not alone”, we need a strong support package that screams out, we will not tolerate domestic abuse, survivors we will keep you safe and abusers we will punish you.  Where are the stronger sentences, where are the punishments for perpetrators?

From where I am standing I can only see half a support package, and quite frankly, that is just not good enough.  Our Government, must try harder!