Today, Monday 25 November 2019, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks the start of 16 days of activism against gender based violence ending on Tuesday 10 December 2019 which is Human Rights Day.
Nationally, 1 in 4 women are affected by domestic abuse, this rises to 1 in 3 for women during pregnancy, and 1 in 6 men. 46% of all murders of women aged 16 or older are due to domestic violence, which is seven a month.
Almost 5,000 children are newly identified every week in England as being affected by domestic violence according to national charity Action for Children.
The police receive a call relating to domestic violence every minute and they estimate that less than half of all cases are actually reported. There are spikes in reports of cases of domestic abuse throughout the year and there is always a spike around Christmas.
Tameside Borough has one of the highest levels of reported domestic abuse in the country. Last year, the local domestic abuse service Bridges saw a 17% increase in referrals.
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT is developing a network of Domestic Abuse Champions. The Champions are staff from different departments and areas, including clinical and non-clinical and are trained in how to identify, support and signpost victims. Training is delivered by the local Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service based at Jigsaw Homes and Mags Deakin, Trust Lead for Domestic Abuse.
Mags explains about the Domestic Abuse Champions, “Since we started the training we have seen an increase in the quantity of referrals for support as well as disclosures from colleagues who may be seeking support themselves. Staff really embrace the role and I would love to see a champion in every department across the Trust.
“Our main aim over the next 16 days is to raise awareness of this huge issue which is so common and affects both men and women. Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate, it affects every age, culture and social economic background.
“As an NHS Trust we are working to build a culture where domestic abuse is completely unacceptable and staff, patients and visitors feel supported by easy access to our trained and caring champions.”