If you are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, or are worried about a friend or relative who is experiencing domestic abuse, the Be a Lover Not a Fighter Campaign is here to help.
In an emergency, always call 999. But you don’t have to wait for an emergency to get help. There are local services and national support lines that can offer confidential advice and help you decide what to do.
The Be A Lover Not a Fighter Campaign, being run by Public Health across Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire is aiming to raise awareness of the often hidden issue of domestic abuse – and to make anyone experiencing it feel confident to seek help. This year’s campaign particularly highlights the impact that domestic abuse has on children – often the forgotten victim of domestic abuse. They can see or hear the abuse, see their parents’ injuries or distress afterwards or could themselves be hurt as they are nearby or try to stop it. For many children, the emotional or psychological scars can last a lifetime. That’s why agencies are working together to raise awareness of this issue and help to make it stop.
Taking the step to ask for help for yourself or for someone else is hard, but the alternative – living with domestic abuse – is much harder.
Worried about someone?
You may know somebody who is experiencing domestic abuse. Unless they are open and honest about their experiences it may be difficult for you to support them to challenge the issue directly.
You can help by listening and trying to understand the situation without judging or blaming them. Let the person know that you understand how frightening and difficult the situation may be, that the abuse is wrong and that no one should be treated like that. Try to discuss options for support but always allow the person to make their own decisions.
Survivors of domestic abuse often worry about accessing professional advice or support. Accessing telephone support locally or nationally can be anonymous; safety of the survivor – and the safety of any children involved – is the most important part.
Helplines will offer information about options available to individuals and families with the aim of reducing the risk to them and enabling them to overcome their experiences.
If you want more information about helping someone else to get help, click here.
You can find out more about the Be a Lover Not a Fighter campaign, and where to get help, by visiting www.lovernotfighter.org.uk
You can also contact the National Domestic Violence helpline, available 24 hours a day and calls are free, on 0808 2000 247.