Pictured (from L-R): ACC Louisa Rolfe, PCC Sue Mountstevens, Assistant Mayor Simon Cook, Carol Metters MBE and Jess Dicken
The second phase of the powerful No Excuse publicity campaign which confronts the myths abusers use to justify their abuse is being launched today (11 March).
The second phase This is not an excuse to abuse me concerns domestic abuse. The first campaign, This is not an excuse to rape me, was launched in November by Safer Bristol Partners to national and international acclaim.
The campaign has again been co-ordinated by Safer Bristol and funded by the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and Bristol City Council’s Public Health department.
In addition, PCC Sue Mountstevens and Avon and Somerset Police have further funded work to make the campaign Avon and Somerset wide.
Sue Mountstevens said: “Domestic abuse is taken extremely seriously across Avon and Somerset and I want victims to know they will be believed if they choose to report. For me, a crucial step in tackling domestic abuse is to give confidence to victims to come forward and seek justice.
“This campaign encourages victims not to suffer in silence and lets them know that there are services out there that can help. The response from the first campaign evoked an emotive reaction and I wish the second phase of the campaign every success in standing up against domestic abuse.”
Simon Cook, Assistant Mayor with responsibility for Community Safety said, “Many abusers justify their behaviour using these false ideas that they are not harming people or that it is the victim’s own fault. With the new ‘This is not an excuse to abuse me’ campaign we want to spell out that there is never an excuse to abuse another person whether it is physically or psychologically”.
This is not an excuse to abuse me will be featured on bus stops, billboards, posters, online messages and radio adverts. The messages (see attached posters) feature some of the myths that people use to excuse abuse, and challenges those myths as entirely untrue.
The campaign features the following myths and key messages busting those myths:
“The kids are upstairs, they don’t know it’s happening” Domestic abuse affects children, whether they’re in the room or not. For help and support visit our website http://www.thisisnotanexcuse.org.uk/.
“It wasn’t my fault, I was drunk” The only person to blame for domestic abuse is the abuser. For help and support visit our website http://www.thisisnotanexcuse.org.uk/.
“It’s not abuse, I never laid a finger on them” Domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it can be emotional or financial abuse. For help and support visit our website http://www.thisisnotanexcuse.org.uk/.
“She was asking for it” No one ‘asks’ to be abused. The victim is never to blame. For help and support visit our website http://www.thisisnotanexcuse.org.uk/.
Barbara Janke, Assistant Mayor with a responsibility for public health said, “The effect of domestic abuse or violence can have catastrophic effects on the health and wellbeing of the person abused and any children. It’s vital that if anyone is being abused or suspects that someone they know is, that they should seek help”.
If anyone is at immediate risk of domestic violence they should call 999. To find out help and services that are available they can ring Next Link on 0117 925 0680 or log on to www.thisisnotanexcuse.org.uk
Domestic abuse is not always about violence it can be the misuse of emotional, physical, financial or sexual control by one person over another.
“Anyone can be a victim of abuse regardless of age, race, income, religion, belief, gender, disability, culture or sexual orientation” said Jess Dicken, Senior Health Promotion Specialist who has co-ordinated the work devising the campaign. “This campaign sets out to make it clear to abusers, and to the public, that there are never excuses for domestic violence. We must all work together to challenge all forms of violence and abuse."
Carol Metters from Next Link said, “It is important that people know that if they are experiencing domestic abuse it is not their fault and there is help available to make them safe. This campaign aims to reach victims of all ages and will be an important step in raising further awareness of the impact of domestic abuse and enable more women to come forward and seek help.”
The campaign is also running online through Twitter #noexcusebristol, and has been developed by a range of organisations including Safer Bristol, Public Health, The office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Avon and Somerset Police, SARSAS, Victim Support, The Green House, Bristol Against Violence and Abuse (BAVA), Next Link, One25, Splitz and Bristol Fawcett.
ACC Louisa Rolfe from Avon and Somerset Police said: “We are very supportive of this campaign in Bristol and are involved with rolling it out across the force area. It is an important message to stress that there is no excuse for domestic abuse. We will look to prosecute offenders wherever possible as well as providing help and support to victims of abuse.
“This campaign is also very timely in that it coincides with the national roll out of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), known as Clare’s Law. The scheme gives people who have concerns about their partner the opportunity to find out whether they have a history of domestic abuse. It also gives people who have concerns about a friend or relative’s partner the chance to raise this with the police who can then make the individual concerned aware.
“We hope both the campaign and the new DVDS scheme will provide another way to help tackle domestic abuse and keep our communities safe.”
Posted on Tuesday 11th March 2014