Campaign against domestic violence

ANGUS Violence Against Women Partnership (AVAWP) is highlighting the plight of women who experience domestic abuse.

The ‘16 Days of Action’ campaign runs to December 10, International Human Rights Day. Amongst local initiatives are sessions in schools on Internet and dating safety, information displays in local leisure centres and at bus stops, and leaflets and posters in libraries, ACCESS offices and at Angus College.

The ‘Safe not Scared Toolkit’ is distributed to pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools to promote positive healthy relationships and the prevention of domestic abuse.

On December 12 there will be an exhibition of related art and poetry in the Arbroath Harbour Visitor Centre, noon to 4pm.

Dr Julia Egan, AVAWP chair, said: “In Angus, police deal with around 1,000 incidents of domestic abuse each year. Many more go unreported. Victims need not suffer in silence. Services are in place to meet the needs of women and children affected by domestic abuse.

“A most effective thing they can do is speak out if friends or relatives insult or attack women. They will eventually help create a culture where the behaviour of a minority who treat women or girls with contempt or violence is completely unacceptable.

Robert Peat, Community Care and Health Partnership, said: “There is no excuse for domestic abuse, and we urge anyone experiencing it to seek help.”

He added: “In 90 per cent of cases, children are in the room or nearby when mothers are being attacked. In Scotland a high number of children live with domestic abuse which they view as something happening to them as well as their mothers.”

Almost half of the women in the UK will experience domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. In the vast majority of cases, men are the perpetrators. 51,926 domestic abuse incidents were recorded in Scotland in 2009/10 and women were the victims in 82 per cent of cases.

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The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0800 027 1234.