With cases of domestic abuse often rising over Christmas and New Year, plus the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on home life, Dorset Police has today launched a campaign to raise awareness about the emotional and psychological impact of controlling and coercive behaviour.
The campaign will use a poem, released verse-by-verse at regular intervals to illustrate the story arc of an abusive relationship. These relationships often have a very positive and exciting beginning, but sadly descend into abuse.
The poem will use contributions from survivors of domestic abuse, which will be invited via social media. People will be able to watch the poem develop and see the completed poem at the end of the campaign via social media and the force website.
Once completed, the poem will be turned into a video featuring survivors of abuse. The video will then be used to help further raise awareness around abusive relationships and encourage those suffering abuse to report to police and to seek help.
Sergeant Alan Marks, of Dorset Police, said, “It’s been a tough year for all of us dealing with COVID-19 virus. Sadly, things may have become worse for those suffering abuse, especially having to live through periods of lockdown.
“This lack of contact with the outside world, as well as being confined with their abuser may well have made things even worse for those in abusive relationships. The cycle of violence may also intensify with people having to isolate themselves and being unable to socialise in the normal ways.
“We hope this campaign will encourage those suffering abuse to seek help from both police and partner agencies. It is important that victims know how and where to get advice and support. We encourage people to report any incidents by phone or online via the force website.”
Katie Bielec, manager The You First Trust, said, “You First has continued to support those in Dorset who have experienced domestic abuse throughout the pandemic. Domestic abuse is about power and control over another and the lockdown provided an environment where victims became prisoners within their own homes. This campaign will provide important information for those experiencing abuse, as well as signposting to help.”
The campaign will be rolled out via digital channels and will include mobile phone banner messaging. Signposting to help with be provided to the Dorset Police website, (www.dorset.police.uk/da), which lists the agencies that can provide help and support.
Crime can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via its website – www.crimestoppers-uk.org
In an emergency, always dial 999.
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