The annual White Ribbon Day took place on Friday 25 November and is followed by the 16 Days of Action against domestic abuse.
White Ribbon Day is a charity that aims to end male violence towards women and this year focuses on the World Cup currently taking place in Qatar. The shocking statistics remain - reported domestic abuse incidents rise by 26% when England win or draw and increase by nearly 40% when they lose.
The big tournament also coincides with the major economic downturn and with that comes financial abuse – an area of domestic abuse which the 16 Days of Action will focus on this year.
Such a topic may not instantly lead you to make the link to this abhorrent crime. Where are the physical signs? The bruises or broken bones? But domestic abuse takes many forms and coercive, controlling behavior from a perpetrator towards their victim, which comes from financial abuse, can be, in some cases, as bad as a physical punch or kick.
Victims are usually denied access to their own money, often feel totally trapped in the abusive relationship as they worry about how they will survive financially if they leave. All of this can have a significant impact on individuals and families. This can be intensified even more by the pressures of the current cost of living crisis.
So this year’s campaign will highlight what financial and economic abuse looks like and where people can find advice and support. Even helping them leave an unhealthy relationship.
There will also be advice on how we can all spot the signs if we suspect a friend, colleague or family member is being abused.
I do understand when reporting domestic abuse not everyone wants to contact the police, and that’s fine - there are many others who can help.
We are working with our partners, the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, charities Fearless (previously Splitz), Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service, Nelson Trust, and local hospitals. All of these agencies are there to help and support - no one ever needs to feel alone or helpless.
Please look out for the publicity material from us and our partners throughout the 16 Days of Action. Also, you can read more about reporting domestic abuse on the Wiltshire Police website.