Crimestoppers reminds the public to speak up anonymously to help save lives.
As lockdown domestic abuse continues, the Crimestoppers charity is reminding the public across the West Midlands to speak up anonymously to help save lives
Their relaunched #YouAreNotPowerless campaign highlights how it’s better to be safe than sorry and that bystanders have options to report abuse in the home anonymously
In the first three weeks of March 2020 in the UK, fourteen women and two children were killed as a result of domestic abuse – the highest rate for eleven years. Almost a year on, and as Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, Crimestoppers is appealing for anyone who is aware of domestic abuse happening to contact us 100% anonymously.
Last year, Crimestoppers – along with Refuge, who run the National Domestic Abuse Helpline – saw a worrying rise in domestic abuse reports, largely put down to people being forced to remain at home to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. During a lockdown, home isn’t always a safe place, as victims of domestic abuse are trapped with their abuser, with less chances to seek support from loved ones.
The #YouAreNotPowerless campaign has been running this month across the West Midlands and consists of a hard-hitting short video depicting various scenarios and is being promoted across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media channels. More details can also be found on our website.
Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial. Any adult can be a perpetrator, with 1 in 4 people reoffending. It affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men during their lifetime. In too many cases, it results in death with 2 women murdered by a current or former partner each week across the UK. Statistics also tell us that 1 in 5 children sadly witness domestic abuse, which can impact their physical, psychological and emotional well-being and development.
You may be a neighbour who has seen or heard threatening and intimidating arguments, which may involve abusive language that can escalate into a violent argument where the partner blames the other for their actions, saying they are “asking for it” or deserve the abuse. You may have seen bruising or other visible marks on a friend, family member or work colleague – this may be the sign of physical abuse. It’s always better to be safer than sorry, so please contact our charity 100% anonymously.
A team of professionals working at our national Contact Centre anonymise all information received – to ensure the person giving the details can never be identified – before passing it on to police to investigate and safeguard. Whether it is a neighbour, friend, work colleague or relative, no one will ever know who provided the information.
Previous domestic abuse lockdown campaigns and appeals last year saw numerous victims safeguarded and action taken against perpetrators as a result of anonymous information our charity received and passed on.
Mick Duthie, Director of Operations at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Every day we hear distressing and poignant stories from people who are doing the right thing and telling us anonymously when they think domestic abuse is happening. We all need to realise that victims may be too scared and traumatised to seek help. We know that a victim typically endures up to 35 assaults before having the strength to speak up, and that can be for many different reasons; fear of losing their children; fear of losing their home; fear of not being believed; even thoughts that they are somehow to blame.
“Our video shows that people may be aware that a neighbour, friend or family member is a victim of domestic abuse but may feel unsure about reporting to police. It highlights that Crimestoppers provides a safe and anonymous way to speak up about suspicions of domestic abuse.
“Information, given to our charity by people across the West Midlands, helps law enforcement bring a halt to abuse and violence in the home. Our message is clear – by working together, being aware and reporting what we know, we can help put a stop to domestic abuse and we can save lives.”
To report domestic abuse 100% anonymously, visit Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in the simple and secure anonymous online form, or call their 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, 365 days of the year. In an emergency, always call 999.