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Lockdown is no excuse for domestic abuse campaign launched

18 May 2020

 

A new campaign is launched across Brent this week in light of the increase in domestic abuse incidents during lockdown.

The Council is calling on supermarkets, retailers and pharmacies to help reach victims who are particularly isolated.

A multi-lingual poster featuring a pair of hands in a self-defending position with the message ‘Lockdown is no excuse for domestic abuse’ will start appearing as more businesses sign up to the campaign.

The poster details local and national helpline numbers in a variety of languages, including Polish, Somali, English, Arabic and Portugese.

Some of the posters will encourage victims to take away a specially designed receipt with their purchase.

The receipt also contains the helpline numbers on the reverse in bright red lettering.

The receipt can be kept by the victim, in a bag or purse, as an innocent record of expenditure without raising too much suspicion with a perpetrator.

If perpetrators, who often stalk their victims by checking bags and phones, find evidence that the victim is seeking help, it can trigger dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences.

Popping to the shops may be the only valid excuse for victims to leave the home during Covid-19 restrictions right now.

The Council is calling on Brent businesses that are open to place the posters in a prominent position.

Businesses that use card reader machines for transactions will be able to claim their free till roll receipt to support the campaign.

Many victims of domestic abuse are isolated from their family and friends, as part of a complex grooming tactic by the perpetrator, to ensure they maintain control.

As their cognitive functions become distorted, victims often find it hard to confide in family and friends and therefore reach out to outside agencies as the main source of help.

Councillor Tom Miller, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, called on businesses to sign up urgently.

He said: “We are calling on businesses that are open at present, to help us with this very important and very urgent campaign.

“Victims face real risks over the coming weeks and months as the ripple effects of job losses and financial pressures begin to bite.

“We know that for many, home will be a very dangerous place right now.

“As the campaign states, there is absolutely no excuse for domestic abuse.

“We want families to know that we will work with them to secure all the help and support they need to be free of their perpetrator and to ensure they are looked after and kept safe.

“We need the message out there – and we need your help to do that.

“Many of these victims will be your loyal, regular customers and we’re counting on you to reach them during this crisis.”

Niki Scordi, Chief Executive of Advance, said: “There has never been a greater need for increased awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, with social distancing in place during this crisis.

“We hope through the campaign by Brent Local Authority and our film, I am with Her, we will come together as communities to let women, men and children know that ‘you are not alone’.

“No-one should live in fear of being hurt at home; it should be a safe place for all.  Our team at Advance are working hard to ensure we are there to help.”

 

  • The poster and till roll receipt are free to businesses that sign up to the campaign. The till roll receipt is compatible with most modern card reader machines.
  • For more details email: Cathy.hickey@brent.gov.uk
  • National government domestic abuse: #YouAreNotAlone  #DomesticAbuse
  • Advance Charity: #IAmWithHer / www.advancecharity.org.uk/gethelp