Support for campaign to help break cycle of domestic abuse
We are pleased to support a new Crimestoppers campaign – launched to help healthcare professionals take action against domestic abuse.
Crimestoppers will give NHS dentists, pharmacy managers and opticians information to help them to reach out to people who may have experienced domestic abuse. The campaign will highlight ways they can talk to possible victims as well as advising the practitioner on how to signpost in the right direction to get help.
Jane Gardner, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Every day in Essex, victims suffer the misery of domestic violence and by working together we can help reach out to those at risk. The drive by Crimestoppers and healthcare practitioners to help equip professionals with the right tools to approach those who have suffered abuse is an innovative step in helping to break the cycle of domestic violence.”
The new campaign, which is funded by the Percy Hoskins Trust, has been developed by Crimestoppers in Essex in partnership with Medics Against Violence (MAV), whose mission is to reduce levels of violence and injury. It works on a four-step principle called AVDR – Ask, Validate, Document and Report or Refer, and has been developed in conjunction with local NHS practitioner groups. It includes an instructional video, poster and information guide.
Chair of Crimestoppers in Essex, Stuart Rawlins, said: “Very often it is healthcare teams who, because they are on the front line of dealing with the public, will come across people who may have suffered abuse.
“One in four women and one in six men have experienced domestic abuse, but victims are often too afraid to speak out. We want to make it easier for health professionals to have confidence about how to handle a situation and, with the right tools and advice; we hope they may be able to make a difference.”
Speaking on behalf of all three Essex NHS Networks involved in the campaign, a spokesperson said: “As healthcare professionals, we are all acutely aware of the risks in relation to domestic abuse and the important role the profession can play. We welcome the initiative from Crimestoppers charity to both encourage us to be more vigilant, as well as signposting us to next steps when domestic violence is involved.”
Health professionals who remain concerned for any reason can report to Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously, either via their 24-hour UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111 or by using a non-traceable online form. Once a report is made, it will be passed to the appropriate police force or other agency. Calls and reports on crimes to Crimestoppers are not recorded and cannot be traced, no-one has to give their name, address or any personal details, and they won’t have to give a statement or appear in court.