Don’t suffer in silence

24th March 2020

No-one should have to suffer from violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV).

However, help is available to people who do.

Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government helpline giving information and advice for people suffering with domestic abuse or sexual violence. The helpline is free and staff are available 24 hours, seven days a week with information, support and signposting. The phone number is 0808 8010 800.

You can also go to www.gwentsafeguarding.org.uk and click on VAWDASV for information and advice.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “One in four women and one in six men are affected by abuse at some point their lifetime.

“Abuse takes many forms, whether that’s physical sexual, financial, discriminatory, institutional, and emotional or neglect. The perpetrator could be a relative, a friend or neighbour, a member of staff or anyone within the community.

“To help tackle this, we are working with the Gwent VAWDASV Regional Team and Gwent Police to encourage those experiencing violence against women, domestic abuse and/or sexual violence to seek help.

“Speak out, as there’s no excuse for any abuse. Please don’t suffer in silence; help is available.”

Each year an estimated 1.9million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse and more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse.

Inspector Chris Back said: “Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, age, race, sexuality or social background. Victims often suffer in silence for many years and research shows that this is a significantly under-reported problem in our communities.

“Abuse can take many forms and often has life changing consequences for those subject to the abuse. Help is available and if you don’t want to speak to the police there are a number of other agencies who offer free confidential helplines and a range of help and support to you.”

VAWDASV is a largely a hidden crime, yet seven women a month are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. It is estimated that 130,000 children live in homes where there is high-risk domestic abuse, and 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed by the perpetrator of the abuse.

These adverse childhood experiences can have a lasting effect of those who experience them. To help tackle this, Operation Encompass sees Gwent Police informing schools of any domestic abuse incidents that have involved or been experienced by children before classes start the following day to ensure the relevant support is in place.

VAWDASV Gwent Regional Lead Advisor Janie Dent said: “We are determined to draw attention to the largely hidden crime of VAWDASV and encourage people experiencing it to seek help. No single agency can tackle this and, by working together, we can promote a supportive culture that is underpinned by a range of services that respond to individuals and their families.

“If you are experiencing VAWDASV, please speak out. We will provide you with the support and advice you need to help you to make any decisions and will help you in taking action to end the abuse and ensure that it doesn't happen again.”

Go to www.gwentsafeguarding.org.uk and click on VAWDASV for more information and advice.

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