Abusive relationship campaign launched in time for Valentine's day

First published in Devon by

AN ONLINE quiz designed to help people examine the health and safety of their relationships is being launched by Devon and Cornwall Police and domestic abuse agencies in time for Valentine’s Day. “Is this love?” is the theme of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of different aspects of domestic violence and abuse and gives people an opportunity to give their relationships a health check. The campaign, which runs from Monday 11th – Monday 18th February 2013, is centred around an interactive quiz created by the Devon-based domestic abuse service Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE), to help people learn more about some of the lesser known aspects of abuse and find out if they could be in an abusive relationship. Claire Brown, for SAFE, who created the quiz explained: “We wanted to create a simple and accessible resource to help people analyse their relationships with partners, friends and family members and find out whether certain behaviour could be abusive”.

“We know that people who have experienced abuse for many years, or have grown up in a violent environment, do not always consider certain behaviour as abusive, so it is crucial that we raise awareness of what is acceptable and not acceptable in a relationship – and at Valentine’s Day, a time for love and affection, this is particularly poignant”.

The questions included in the quiz, cover some of the key signs of physical and emotional abuse and are based on a toolkit used by SAFE’s domestic abuse outreach teams in Devon. Rachel Martin, Manager for adva, which is led by Devon County Council, said: “There are many forms of domestic abuse, from controlling behaviour over family finances, to threats and physical and sexual violence. Abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone at any time and there is help and support available to anyone who thinks they might be at risk or would like to talk to someone in confidence.”

Research carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police shows that during 2012, police responded to 26,149 domestic abuse incidents across the region.

Commenting on the latest domestic abuse statistics, Tony Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall said: “Domestic abuse is a crime that is usually hidden inside the family circle and is often unseen. It constitutes at least 25% of all recorded crime, is frequently alcohol-related and subjects the region to millions of pounds in collateral costs. My aim is to provide an environment that encourages more reporting, and to recognise the many specialist charities and mechanisms dedicated to working together to prevent this crime.”

Devon’s Domestic Abuse Partnership adva (Against Domestic Violence and Abuse) is supporting this campaign alongside Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone), and SEEDS (Survivors Empowering and Educating Domestic Abuse Services). Help and support is available from the Devon Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0345 155 1074 and further advice can be sought from www.adva.org.uk Devon and Cornwall Police provide help, support and advice 24 hours a day via specially trained domestic abuse officers. In an emergency call 999 or for non –emergencies call 101; email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or visit www.devon-cornwall.pnn.police.uk for more information.

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