Home Editor's pick Could you be hurting someone you love?

Could you be hurting someone you love?

by Jonathan Kearney

Domestic abuse can take many forms and is a crime that can ruin the lives of those affected by it – not just the victims themselves, but children, the wider family and friends too.

Sometimes people spot issues in their own behaviour long before their actions escalate into a more serious problem. Often however, people ignore the early signs and only get help when things become really serious and a crisis arises.

But if people get help sooner, there is an opportunity to change behaviours and reduce the risk of harm for more people.

Certain behaviours might only have happened once or twice and may not seem that serious at first. But, if you start to spot a pattern in your behaviour or see the negative impact it might be having on those around you, don’t ignore it.

Being aware of your own behaviour and recognising an issue early can be the first step to protecting you and your family from serious harm.

Non-judgemental support and advice is available if you are worried about your own behaviour or that of someone else.

You can contact the Safer Communities team by emailing   enquiries.safercommunities@knowsley.gov.uk

You can also visit www.respectphoneline.org.uk or call 0808 802 4040 to access lots of advice, information and non-judgemental support. You can also speak to you GP who will be able to refer you to local services and support.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “Many people don’t realise that in addition to providing support for victims of domestic abuse, there is also help out there for perpetrators who want to change their behaviour. That includes early advice and guidance to help modify concerning behaviours right through to more intensive and targeted support.

“Here in Knowsley, our focus is on early intervention and spotting the signs quickly and working to change behaviours, before they escalate. With this approach, we believe there is a better chance that we can reduce incidents of domestic abuse and prevent reoffending. This approach will hopefully reduce the amount of people and families impacted by this damaging abuse which can have devastating consequences for all involved.

“If you are worried about your own behaviour, don’t ignore your instincts and seek help now.”