MPs have been given a guide to help them support constituents who may be experiencing domestic violence.
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the Southern Domestic Abuse Service is supporting a campaign to urge men and boys to wear a white ribbon – a visible pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
We want to ensure that all our local MPs are equipped to recognise domestic abuse and signpost all victims and survivors of domestic abuse to specialist services provided by SDAS
The ‘toolkits’ will help MPs understand domestic violence, recognise some of the signs of domestic violence and know where to refer female victims so they can get further help.
It has been developed with the help of the charity Women’s Aid.
SDAS chief executive Claire Chatwin said: ‘We are pleased to support the White Ribbon Campaign to work towards eliminating violence against women.
‘We want to ensure that all our local MPs are equipped to recognise domestic abuse and signpost all victims and survivors of domestic abuse to specialist services provided by SDAS.’
Portsmouth residents are being asked to complete an anonymous survey to tackle domestic abuse.
Bruce Marr, hidden violence service manager for the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, said: ‘In Portsmouth last year there were 4,745 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police – an increase of 12 per cent on the previous year – and 31 per cent of all assaults were domestic abuse related.
‘We also know that domestic abuse is under-reported and it is therefore one of the Safer Portsmouth Partnership’s highest priorities. Portsmouth City Council and their partners do a lot of work to help reduce harm caused by abusive relationships.
‘The Safer Portsmouth Partnership is currently reviewing domestic abuse provision in the city and residents and professionals are being asked to contribute to this by completing this survey to help ensure that services are meeting the needs of people in Portsmouth.’
Go to saferportsmouth.org.uk/survey by December 31.
For help in the city call (023) 9268 8472.