Campaign highlights 'No Excuse' for domestic abuse - 15 February 2010

A publicity drive has been launched in Edinburgh this week to encourage women to get help if they are victims of domestic abuse. It is thought that more than half of all attacks and harassment may go unreported, prompting an advertising campaign, carrying the message No Excuse, highlighting the support that is available.

Councillor Paul Edie, Chair of the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, said:   "Domestic Abuse is completely unacceptable and we will do our utmost to tackle it wherever it exists. We know that the turn of the year is a peak time for victims of domestic abuse to seek help or report assaults. Our message to women who suffer from domestic abuse is that help is available and we strongly encourage you to use it."  

A spokesperson from Edinburgh Women's Aid, said: "Edinburgh Women's Aid welcomes the Domestic Abuse No Excuse Campaign. Many women are still unaware of the support available to them. This campaign not only highlights the issue generally, but also provides information about the support and help available.

 "For 35 years, Edinburgh Women's Aid have been providing information, advice, support and where appropriate, refuge accommodation to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. We encourage women to come forward and talk to someone, even if they are unsure if what they are experiencing is abuse."

"Many women experiencing domestic abuse have never been physically assaulted by a partner and the effects of emotional abuse can be devastating and often go unrecognised by friends and relatives and by women themselves."

The advertising is on buses, bus tickets and in areas where women are able to take down support phone numbers in private such as changing rooms in shops and in toilet cubicles. It will be complemented by posters and radio carrying the campaign messages and information which will be distributed throughout the city.

This campaign is part of the Violence against Women Partnership Strategy 2008-2013. As well as awareness raising the other key principles of the strategy are to improve services which address violence against women, increase reporting and improve the sharing of violence against women information.

Additional quote from a victim of domestic abuse: Megan said: "Every time I planned to go out with my friends, he would create a scene. He started arguments about my clothes and my friends and accused me of flirting with other men. Then he told me he was possessive because he loved me so much. I believed him. In the end, I just stopped seeing my friends - it was too much hassle." 

Notes to editors

Support for women is available from:

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline (24hr helpline) - 0800 0271234

Lothian and Borders Police - 0131 311 3131

Edinburgh Women's Aid - 0131 315 8110

Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre - 0131 556 9437

Shakti Women's Aid - 0131 475 2399

The Violence Against Women Partnership (VAW partnership) is a formal multi-agency approach to addressing violence and abuse against women. The VAW Partnership sits within the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, one the key strategic partnerships for community planning in Edinburgh .

Representations on the VAW Partnership includes: the City of Edinburgh Council ; Lothian and Borders Police; Edinburgh Community Health Partnership; Procurator Fiscal Service; Edinburgh Women's Aid; Shakti Women's Aid; Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre; and the Scottish Prostitutes Education Project.

The total cost of domestic violence to services in Scotland (criminal justice system, health, social service, housing, civil legal) amounts to £308 million, while the loss to the economy is £270 million. Human and emotional costs are estimated at £1.7 billion. This amount to over £2.27 billion a year. (figure estimated by applying the formula devised by Walby.S (2004) in The Cost of Domestic Violence Women and Equality Unit, Research Summary, DTI publications.  

VAW impacts on children and young people in many ways, for example, they may have witnessed violence in the home or have fled an environment where it has taken place. Furthermore it is estimated that between 30% and 66% of children who suffer physical abuse are also living with domestic abuse. (Edleson, J 1999 'Children's witnessing of adult domestic violence, Journal of interpersonal violence, vol. 14, No4 pp839-70)


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