Published: November 20, 2012
Domestic Abuse Awareness Week to be marked in Highbridge

An event will be held in Highbridge on Wednesday (November 21st) to encourage people not to suffer domestic abuse in silence.

Throughout Domestic Abuse Week (19th to 23rd November) Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset are supporting awareness events and information displays across Somerset.

In Highbridge, there will be a display stand, talk and information at the town's Asda supermarket from 10am-2pm.

Men suffer from domestic abuse as well as women and recent figures show that one in four women and one in six men will experience it at some point in their lives.

Christine Lawrence, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: "Domestic abuse is often described as a 'hidden crime' because it goes on behind closed doors and is often never talked about or reported."

"The victim may not even know they are suffering abuse. Or they may be protecting family members and won’t put them at risk, or they could be just too frightened to seek help. That is why it is so important that sufferers of abuse know the signs and symptoms and where they can seek help and support."

Louise Finnis, Health Promotion Manager with NHS Somerset, added: "If you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship there are three steps you must take. Learn to recognise when it is happening. Accept that you - or the person you know - are not to blame and seek help and support."

"It is important that no-one suffers in silence with domestic abuse. Here in Somerset there is a domestic abuse free phone line that anyone who is concerned about domestic abuse can use, whether it's because they're directly experiencing domestic abuse themselves, or are a concerned friend or relative. The confidential line will put you in contact with the appropriate help and advice."

The confidential Somerset Domestic Abuse FreeFone Support line is on 0800 694 9999 and is open 24 hours. It is answered by Chapter 1, Somerset’s Integrated Domestic Abuse Service.

Pictured: Top, left to right, Susan Venn-Adams (Police Community Support Officer), Mary Coulson (Soroptimist), Lori Busch (Mankind Initiative) and Heather Pearce (Chair of the Somerset Domestic Abuse Forum)

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