Posted: Tue 14th Apr 2020

Updated: Tue 14th Apr

North Wales Police backs campaign to raise awareness of warning signs of domestic abuse

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 14th, 2020

North Wales Police is backing a campaign to raise awareness and deal with domestic abuse during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Welsh Government’s “This is Control” campaign aims to encourage people to recognise the signs of controlling and coercive behaviour and to report it.

Such actions are designed to make a person subordinate or dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them for personal gain and depriving them of the means to be independent or to resist and escape their situation. It also seeks to regulate their everyday behaviour.

North Wales Police has teamed up with the Live Fear Free Helpline (LFF), an all Wales domestic abuse service which deals with this issue every day of the year.

Ann Williams, LFF manager, said: “The helpline deals with victims who receive constant harassment by text or social media or who are emotionally abused through degrading comments about appearance or their weight.

“We speak to victims who have been deprived of money to buy essentials for the household and who have been deliberately isolated from friends and family.”

“We know that COVID-19 has raised anxiety which is compounded in relationships where domestic abuse and sexual violence already exists.

“The situation is also exacerbated because the victim and perpetrator are within the same four walls 24 hours a day.

“In a lot of households children are also at home as schools are closed. We want people to know there is help out there.”

The helpline offers advice and signposts people to other organisations, as well as assistance to access refuge. These places will offer a safe space for women, children and men.

There are four ways to access the 24 hour helpline:

The helpline also offers support to friends and family who have concerns about their loved ones and to professionals looking for assistance.

The conversations with the helpline by telephone will not appear on any bills and are not recorded on electronic devices.

North Wales Police strategic domestic abuse officer Mike Taggart said: “The Live Fear Free Helpline is a fantastic service that provides support to all victims.

“The helpline is indiscriminate and will help all those that reach out for support.

“The Live Fear Free “This is Control” campaign is incredibly powerful, showing that domestic abuse is not just about physical abuse, but about power, control and manipulation as well as raising awareness that men too are victims of domestic abuse.

“Victims sometimes don’t know that they are being abused, because the manipulation is so great.

“This campaign highlights those behaviours that people wouldn’t normally think were domestic abuse, but in fact, they are.

“I would urge anyone who is being subjected to this horrific abuse to make contact with North Wales Police or the Live Fear Free Helpline, where you can get the appropriate support and help keep yourself safe.”

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