Domestic abuse – council backs campaign to highlight the impact of domestic abuse

Published on: Wednesday, 24-February-2016

Representatives from Knowsley Council, alongside the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside, have turned out in force to support a new anti-domestic abuse campaign taking place across parts of the North West.

‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ is running across areas in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire in a bid to encourage people to talk about the problem and know what they should do to help if someone is experiencing domestic abuse. It is asking people to wear the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ badge and offer another to a friend or family member.

This year, the second year campaign has taken place, the initiative is focusing on children as a staggering 90% of domestic abuse is witnessed by children.

The face to face engagement event, taking place at Kirkby Market on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, is part of 12 public engagement events taking place as part of the campaign.

Run by public health partners, ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ will be seen across seven local authorities in Cheshire and Merseyside areas and across Lancashire, building on the work first delivered by the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative (Champs).

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said “Through this campaign, we are aiming to breakdown the barriers around domestic abuse and stop it being a hidden issue in communities.  Domestic abuse is broader than physical violence. The short and long term impacts on children are huge, including their behaviour and educational achievement as well as physical and mental health.  Creating the environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less will help support our local work and we want to encourage people to pledge their support.”

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Sue Murphy added “It is really important to get the message out, loud and clear, that domestic abuse is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.  I’m delighted to be involved in and support the partnership approach we are taking through the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ campaign to raise awareness of this important issue.

It is vital we end the days of domestic abuse being a taboo subject, a hidden issue within our communities, and make sure victims know there is no need to suffer in silence.”

One in three women and one in six men have suffered domestic abuse with two women killed every week and two men killed every month in the UK by their partners. About half of violent relationships involve violence by both partners.

Celebrities including DIY SOS and National Lottery presenter Nick Knowles, Superbike World Champion Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty,  ‘Shameless’ and ‘Cuffs’ star Karen Bryson, Dancing on Ice star Dan Whiston, ‘Benidorm’s’ Crissy Rock, Hannah Hobley and Philip Olivier and singer Russell Watson have all offered support for the campaign.

For more information, where the engagement events are being held or to find out how you can pledge your support go to www.lovernotfighter.org.uk.