Safer 6 – Raising awareness of domestic abuse

2nd November 2021

 

 

 

Sandwell’s Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership is raising awareness of domestic abuse and support available this week as part of the Safer Sandwell Partnership’s Safer 6 campaign.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 became law earlier this year and the new legal definition of domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of physical or sexual abuse, violent or threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse between those aged 16 and over and personally connected to each other.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim and is a criminal offence. This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.

The sixth week (1-7 November) of this year’s Safer 6 campaign is raising awareness around domestic abuse, especially in relation to violence against women and girls.

The Partnership is once again sharing Tina’s Story www.sandwell.gov.uk/tinasstory which Tina’s sister made to help other families. Tina was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

How do you know if coercive control is happening to you?

Some common examples of coercive behaviour by perpetrators include:

  • Constantly checking up on where you are
  • Criticising what you do
  • Controlling your finances
  • Stopping you seeing people
  • Humiliating or guilt tripping you

Councillor Bob Piper, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “In Sandwell, as well as regionally and nationally, domestic abuse is a serious issue. It affects the lives of adults and children from all sections of the community and can have a lifelong impact on health and wellbeing.

“Please be assured that victims of domestic abuse are an absolute priority for the police and support agencies and help and advice is available.”

Sandwell Council Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable in any circumstances. If anyone is experiencing domestic abuse or is at risk, please don’t suffer in silence, there is help available.

“Sandwell Council and our partner organisations are continuing to provide critical services to our residents when they need them most.”

Useful contacts

Black Country Women’s Aid (BCWA) can provide support to to women and men experiencing domestic abuse from all communities, ethnicities and backgrounds. They provide a full range of services including access to specialist domestic abuse refuge accommodation and access to a range of specialist domestic abuse advice and support.

  • Call the 24-hour helpline on 0121 552 6448
  • Text or WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am – 9pm Monday – Friday)
  • www.blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk
  • Call 999 in an emergency
  • If you are worried about your behaviour towards others, call the Respect Helpline on 0808 802 4040.

Sandwell Council also provides support to access safe accommodation for victims and their children who may find themselves at risk of homelessness due to domestic abuse.  You can contact the Sandwell Council Housing Team on 0121 368 1166.

More domestic abuse information is available on www.sandwell.gov.uk/domesticabuse

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign has a special online focus this year – as well as activities across our six towns.

The campaign, now in its 12th year, promotes a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice. The campaign started on 27 September and runs until 7 November 2021.

Each of the six weeks has had a different theme with week 6 being violence against women and girls awareness – visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/safer6 for more information about the different weeks.

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram using the #Safer6 hashtag and on the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for Safer Sandwell Partnership organisations and services.

 

Published: 2nd November 2021