JACKIE Broadfoot, specialist domestic violence and abuse worker for the YOU Trust, spoke to Army&You about reaching Service families who might need help and support…
Seven women every month die as a result of domestic abuse and the issue remains a very real problem. While it affects both men and women, a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics revealed that 70 per cent of domestic abuse victims are female and that women are much more likely to fall victim to serious violence or even death.
Domestic abuse can be a hidden crime. Many victims will never report the abuse and this may be more so the case for those living in close-knit communities such as the Army. It may be very difficult to stand up and say that you are a victim and the perpetrator is from that very organisation. You may also be worried about how reporting such abuse might impact on your accommodation or immigration status.
You may feel that you are on your own, that you have no support and no-one will believe you. Domestic abuse takes many forms – physical, psychological, emotional, financial, coercive control or a combination of some of all of these.
I want to reach out to those victims who feel that way. There are domestic abuse services all over the United Kingdom with staff to help you. There is a range of support available, from one-to-one practical and emotional assistance to providing safe accommodation for you and any children. Each person is different and each safety plan will be unique.
The YOU Trust offers support for domestic abuse victims living in Dorset and Hampshire areas. It is a confidential service. The Housing and Isolated Communities’ Advocacy Project, which currently covers the Hampshire area, has been set up specifically to try and reach out to those victims who are in hard to reach places, such as Army communities.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse then you can get help, advice and support by calling the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If you live in Hampshire or Dorset you can get help by calling the YOU Trust on 0330 016 5112.