As the ’16-Days of Action’ campaign’ to raise awareness of domestic abuse comes to an end this weekend, Kent residents are urged to continue to remain vigilant for signs someone is experiencing violence in the home – to help direct victims to vital support services.
The call from Kent County Council (KCC), as part of its ‘Support #TheGoal to End Direct Abuse’ campaign with Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (KIDAS), comes as England prepare to take on France in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final.
Football itself is not the cause for abuse, but research shows that rates increase when England play. Whatever the score, victims suffer with cases increasing by 38% when England lose a match and 26% when they win or draw.
Domestic abuse affects over 2.4 million people a year in England and Wales – including some 75,000 to 80,000 adults in Kent and Medway. The cost-of-living crisis is also escalating the risk for those experiencing domestic abuse, with many facing financial constraints that make leaving their current situation harder.
There are various signs of domestic abuse ranging from physical injuries to someone being afraid or anxious to please their partner or who is meek, fearful or extremely apologetic.
Dee experienced coercion and control from her former partner. She says: “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.”
Clair Bell, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We are all so proud of the England team for making it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, but research shows while a lot of people will be enjoying the football, for some they will be living in fear.
“People affected by domestic abuse need help and that is why we are urging our communities to show domestic abuse the red card by supporting this campaign.”
Communities are asked to share the campaign on social media to raise awareness. To access the ‘Support The Goal to End Domestic Abuse’ campaign, follow this link: World Cup: End Domestic Abuse: SOCIAL MEDIA
To reach specialist domestic abuse support through KIDAS, please call Victim Support 0808 168 9111 or visit https://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 is an emergency.
Notes to Editors:
1 – Pathway Project, 14 June 2018; 2 – Office of National Statistics, November 2022 www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/domesticabuseinenglandandwalesoverview/november2022; 3 – Domestic abuse – Kent Public Health Observatory (kpho.org.uk)
- As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle domestic abuse, Kent County Council is now a White Ribbon-accredited organisation. More information on the County Council’s work with White Ribbon can be found at White Ribbon – Kent County Council.
- Since 2017, KCC has worked with partners to commission the Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Contract (KIDAS). This 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