Domestic violence is not just physical violence. Do you recognise any of the signs below either in your relationship, or that of a friend, a workmate or family member?
- Prevented from seeing family and friends
- Prevented from using a phone, or phone being destroyed
- Threats to kill you, themselves, pets, children
- Threats to take children away or that they will be taken away
- Being choked or strangled
- Controlling your behaviour and life (e.g. dress, being timed when going out, being unable to work or be in education)
- Threats to find you if you leave, or that they can't live without you
- Being threatened with weapons (whether knives, guns or household items that are used as weapons)
- Not being allowed to rest or sleep properly
- Being forced or coerced into having sex or being raped
- Playing mind games
- Making you feel 'mad' or 'bad'
- Having to account in detail for money spent
- Being called humiliating names
Domestic violence can take many forms and people who are victims of it can be abused in any number of ways - only a few are highlighted above.
For many victims, leaving an abusive and controlling relationship can be a risky and dangerous time. Victims do not have to end their relationship or leave their home to ring a helpline for support and to talk things over.
Don't be a bystander
Together with the West Lancashire Liberty Centre and Edge Hill Students Union, we have put together a new social media campaign, 'Don't be a bystander'. The campaign aims to help encourage people who think that a friend, relative or colleague is suffering from domestic violence, to get support, advice or assistance.
The campaign is being supported by the Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster - a patron of the Liberty Centre and a passionate supporter of women’s rights.
You can get involved and help raise awareness by retweeting messages from @libertycentre1 and @westlancsbc. You can also find out more by visiting Liberty Centre website (external link).
Where to get help
If you want any support or information about domestic violence, you can contact:
For children affected by domestic violence
Lancashire Domestic Violence Strategy
A lot of excellent work continues to take place in West Lancashire to support families and address the complex issues that domestic violence presents. The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) works very closely with the Police and Liberty Centre to tackle domestic abuse and support domestic abuse victims. We are working towards a more co-ordinated response to the problem and in 2016 West Lancashire CSP adopted the Lancashire Domestic Violence Strategy which aims to support and encourage multi-agency working and commissioning to prevent domestic abuse in Lancashire. The document has been endorsed by the Lancashire Chief Executives Group and an action plan is scheduled to be developed early in 2017 to support delivery of the strategy.
The West Lancashire Domestic Violence Resource Directory contains a directory of services together with key information related to domestic violence issues.