Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart is joining with Citizens Advice and Slough based charity DASH to campaign against domestic abuse. She is backing Citizen’s Advice’s campaign to ‘Talk About Abuse’ which aims to help family and friends know how they can best support victims of all forms of domestic abuse. The campaign encourages people to be aware of what constitutes domestic abuse, to start a supportive conversation if they have concerns and to suggest further help to victims.
Following the launch of the Talk About Abuse campaign in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 16 September Fiona visited DASH, the Slough based charity which provides refuge and support for victims of domestic violence on Monday 21st September.
“We must aim to end domestic abuse in all its forms. Behind closed doors domestic abuse can include physical violence, financial control and psychological torment.
“People need to know what steps they can take if they suspect someone is suffering from any form of domestic abuse. It is important that anyone in Slough experiencing domestic abuse, or anyone worried about a friend or family member, feels able to get the help and support they need, I was keen to follow up this campaign launch with a visit to DASH which provides support locally to victims of domestic violence. I hope we can campaign together to prevent domestic violence and abuse which causes so much harm to many individuals in Slough.”
Citizens Advice research highlights how victims of domestic abuse can suffer financial and emotional abuse as well as physical and sexual violence.
Victims of financial abuse can have huge debts taken out in their name, be forced to account for every penny they spend or have access to their bank accounts restricted.
Last year the Government made the announcement that it would address non-physical abuse and make ‘coercive control’ illegal. This will outlaw sustained patterns of behaviour that amount to emotional and financial abuse.
Research from national charity Citizens Advice finds that just 2 in 5 people are aware that domestic abuse can have a financial element.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Abusers use a variety of tactics to control, hurt and isolate victims. To maintain control over their victims abusers may make them account for every penny they spend, manipulate their emotions, and even physically or sexually assault them. The support of family and friends can be vital to someone who feels trapped by abuse.
“It is important people feel able to talk about abuse, whether they are victims, family or friends. We are working to help more people understand what constitutes domestic abuse and where they can get specialist help if they or someone they know may be suffering. ”
· If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse, or you are concerned someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, you can seek help by calling confidential helplines:
· Slough Citizens Advice provides free confidential and impartial advice to people, face to face and over the telephone
· If the victim is a woman, you can get help from the freephone, twenty-four hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership by Refuge and Women's Aid)
· If the victim is a man, you can get help from the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327
· If the victim is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, you can get specialised help from Broken Rainbow on 0300 999 5428