Many people will be facing Christmas this year with less money available to them, the social stress of having the ‘perfect’ Christmas, a rise in alcohol consumption and more time spent in the same space as a partner – all of which can lead to challenging behaviour and domestic violence.
This year is the 75th anniversary for the declaration of human rights, and Human Rights Day takes place on Saturday, 10 December with the theme Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All. The council continues to take positive action in tackling inequalities and end violence towards women and girls (VAWG) through our Safer Ealing action plan.
“You will be listened to”
Cabinet member for tackling inequalities, Councillor Aysha Raza said: “Finding the strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship can be one of the most difficult actions that a woman can take in her lifetime. But by taking that first step, this will lead to a woman’s independence and taking back control of her life.
“It’s important to reach out to women in all communities, help is out there. You will be listened to; you will be believed, and you will be supported. People experiencing domestic abuse are not defined by gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, or socio-economic status, it can happen to anyone.
“This year we ran the Safer Ealing listening exercise, where we heard what women and girls need to feel safe in public spaces within the borough. We will continue to act, so all women and girls can feel safe in Ealing.”
The annual international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence started on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and runs until Human Rights Day on 10 December.
This year’s theme has been UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls, whether in their own home or in public spaces. Having the ultimate goal of ending domestic abuse the campaign also strives to raise awareness about the right to safety in public spaces, and to remind women of the support available to them.
One in four women and one in six men in the UK experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and every 30 seconds the police receive a call relating to domestic abuse. Office of National Statistics (ONS) data published on Friday November 25, shows that an estimated 6.9% of women and 3% of men experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022.
Types of domestic abuse
Violence can take many forms, from harassment or threatening behaviour, it can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, coercive. Threatening or abusive text messages, demanding access to phones or laptops or the use of ‘spyware’ is also legally viewed as violence. It can also take place in private or public spaces and be initiated by a stranger or intimate partner.
As we reach Human Rights Day on December 10, we remind victims of domestic abuse that support and counselling are available and urge anyone experiencing any form of abuse or violence to take the first step towards regaining autonomy and taking back control of their lives. You will be listened to; you will be believed, and you will be helped.
Support is available 24/7
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, support is available 24/7.
You can call 999 in an emergency. If you cannot speak, you can cough or if prompted by the call operator you can answer questions by coughing or pressing buttons, you can press 55 to alert the call handler that it is an emergency.
Ealing’s local domestic abuse help and support services
Advance: a service for both male and female survivors of domestic abuse
Southall Black Sisters: a specialist service for women from black communities
The Eastern European Service: specialist service for women from Eastern European Communities
The Women’s Wellness Zone: a service for women with complex needs
Men’s advice line: a specialist service for men
Gallop: assistance to LGBTQ community
The charity UK Say No More offer safe spaces within Ealing where staff are trained to speak discreetly, to help victims. They will be able to show you where there are safe spaces available in your area.
Ask for ANI is a scheme where victims can reach out for help in an emergency, by using the codeword Ani in participating pharmacies, including ALL Boots stores.
Respect offer a helpline, email and webchat service for domestic abuse perpetrators to get help and advice. Call 0808 802 4040