Kent residents, community groups and businesses are urged to join the new ‘Take Action: End Domestic Abuse’ campaign during the worldwide 16 days of Action.
The campaign is part of Kent County Council’s wider ‘Know, See, Speak Out’ awareness-raising initiative and starts on 25 November (White Ribbon Day), ending on 10 December 2022 (Human Rights Day). The initiative is led by the Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (KIDAS) partnership and provides free training for employers and a range of resources to help everyone to learn about, understand, and feel empowered to speak out and take action against domestic abuse.
The cost-of-living crisis is escalating the risk for those experiencing domestic abuse, with many facing financial constraints that make leaving their current situation harder. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity sexuality and socio-economic background. In 2020/21 there were 4 domestic abuse-linked deaths a week in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics).
Dee experienced domestic abuse as a child. When a family friend began to groom her aged 14, Dee’s life spiralled further into a pattern of abuse, until a Kent & Medway Early Help Worker referred her for support. Dee says: “Going through abuse at home, I was vulnerable. He kept an eye on me 24/7. He had full financial control – I had to ask permission for money to buy anything and I wasn’t allowed my own bank card. I thought it was because he loved me, I didn’t realise it was because he was controlling me.
“He turned nastier after I had the baby. I was only allowed time with them during the night feed because he didn’t want to get up in the night. I never used to go out because I was so scared that he would take the children, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Abuse can happen anywhere to anyone and there are barriers and trauma that stop people from leaving, but with the right understanding and support, the cycle can be broken.”
Organisations are encouraged to become Employer Champions where they’ll receive free virtual awareness guidance from the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), practical information and policy planning advice for supporting colleagues and employees experiencing abuse.
Everyone can get involved in the campaign by using the free resources. These include social media posts to share with followers and networks focusing on different aspects of domestic abuse, printable posters that can be put up in venues and communal spaces, and an email signature, website header, and a Zoom/Teams background image to help you raise awareness at work.
Clair Bell, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health said: “Domestic Abuse continues to be a challenge within our communities, often going unnoticed and unreported. Now more than ever we need to confront and reduce this dreadful crime. Part of our continued efforts with our partners in Kent is to widen and heighten awareness of the signs of Domestic Abuse and the help available both in the community and businesses.
“As part of this important work, we urge everybody, particularly employers and organisations, to join us during the 16 Days of Action to become domestic abuse aware, be vigilant in recognising the signs, take action to spread the word, and help to direct victims to safety.”
To access specialist Domestic Abuse support through KIDAS please call Victim Support 0808 168 9111 or visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk/, where you can also find information, resources and training webinars.
In an emergency, call the police on 999 (if you can’t speak, cough, or tap the handset then press 55 on your phone – the police will know it’s an emergency).
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact Bryony Bishop, Kent & Medway Domestic Abuse Communications Campaign Coordinator at email@example.com | 07862 241922.
Clair Bell and “Dee” mentioned in this release are available for interview. For interview requests for Dee, please contact Iona Hunter-Whitehouse, Senior Project Officer for Domestic Abuse, Kent County Council at Iona.Hunter-Whitehouse@kent.gov.uk.
For interview requests for Clair Bell, please contact the KCC press office firstname.lastname@example.org
To access the ‘16 Days of Action: End Domestic Abuse’ campaign, visit the website at www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk/latest-news-articles-advice/16-days/
As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle domestic abuse, Kent County Council are now a White Ribbon accredited organisation. More information on the Council’s work with White Ribbon can be found at White Ribbon – Kent County Council.
Since 2017, Kent County Council has worked with Partners to commission the Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Contract (KIDAS) which provides help for survivors across both community and accommodation-based support and continues to work with partners to build, develop and maximise the support available to those experiencing abuse.
The integrated approach of KIDAS means victims can access support wherever they are in Kent and has ensured a consistent response for victims and survivors during the pandemic. A central non-emergencies helpline and 24/7 live chat for Kent & Medway is coordinated by Victim Support, with localised helplines delivered by Oasis Domestic Abuse Service (East Kent, Medway, North Kent), Look Ahead (West Kent) and Clarion Housing Group (North and South Kent). A dedicated website has been set up working with Kent County Council and Kent Community Safety Team, with full information for safety planning and access to support at www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk
The Council’s domestic abuse strategy can be found at