the ROLE alcohol plays in domestic abuse is being highlighted as part of a campaign launched to coincide with the festive season.
Angus Violence against Women Partnership (AVAWP) and the Focus on Alcohol Angus Project have developed the poster campaign to promote safe, sensible drinking as well as to provide details of the support available for anyone affected by domestic abuse.
The campaign is part of the 16 Days of Action for the elimination of violence against women and its key message is to enjoy the Christmas period but stay safe by drinking sensibly.
Levels of domestic abuse increase at this time of year and alcohol is often a contributing factor, aggravating the levels of violence and the seriousness of any injuries suffered as a result.
There can also be a significant impact on children, who are often in the same room or nearby when domestic abuse takes place.
Dr Julia Egan, chairwoman of the AVAWP, emphasised that there is no excuse for domestic violence, whether alcohol is involved or not.
She said: “The perpetrator is always entirely responsible. It is never the victim’s fault.
“Although it’s obviously a season for families and fun, we do see increased levels of domestic abuse at this time of year and research has shown that the violence used is more likely to be at the severe end of the spectrum when the perpetrator consumes alcohol.
“That’s why we are delighted to be working together with the Focus on Alcohol Project in helping to promote safe sensible drinking. We really just want everyone to drink sensibly, enjoy themselves and stay safe.”
The campaign is also being backed by Tayside Police and Chief Superintendent Kevin Lynch said that alcohol has, at times, been used as “convenient reasoning” to justify oppressive or aggressive behaviour towards women.
He said: “This is simply not acceptable.
“Under no circumstances can alcohol be used as an excuse for any form of violence or abuse, particularly within a domestic situation.
“I fully support the campaign, which directly aligns to the objectives set out through the ongoing Operation Linchpin.
“Operation Linchpin directly targets the issue of violence and abuse in the home and we must do all we can to better protect and support the victims of domestic violence or abuse, and reduce the harm it causes to vulnerable members of the community in Angus.
“The poster campaign will support this aim in raising an awareness of these issues.”
Anyone can experience domestic abuse and there are options and local organisations that can help those affected. Further information is available by calling the national domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234.