This week saw the domestic violence charity Refuge launch the “Four Ways to Speak Out Campaign” to encourage sufferers of domestic violence to speak out and escape the domestic violence situation they find themselves in.
Anyone can support the campaign in association with Avon cosmetics by doing one of the following:-
1) Sign a petition requesting the Government end the postcode lottery as 1 in 3 local authorities do not provide any domestic violence services
2) Buy an Avon empowerment necklace in memory of domestic violence victims and help fund vital domestic violence services
3) Download a poster from fourwaystospeakout.com and display this in your local area so that sufferers know where to seek help from
4) Get your family and friends to join the campaign.
Refuge supports Women and Children against domestic violence and they quote statistics that 1 woman dies every 3 days at the hands of an ex or current partner. Whilst reading about the campaign in the newspapers, although I wholeheartedly support any campaign to raise awareness of this important issue, it did concern me that the campaign was still targeted towards women and it seems that there are still few organisations out there offering the same help and support to men.
Domestic violence affects all kinds of people, old, young, married, unmarried, civil partners, male or female. By not highlighting this in the campaign, I feel that it further alienates male sufferers who already in general find it more difficult than women to speak out, admit to others they are sufferers and seek help. Although there may be less voluntary and charitable organisations out there supporting male sufferers, the law certainly does not discriminate between male and females.
The law enables current partners or ex partners whether male or female to apply to the court to get what is known as a non-molestation injunction preventing their partner or ex partner from harassing, threatening or assaulting them. Also in some cases it is possible to have a partner removed from the home in which the couple live together to enable the sufferer of domestic violence to live there without fear of further violence.
Let us hope Refuge and other organisations continue to campaign and raise awareness of domestic violence. However, during the next campaign, it needs to be made clear it is not just a female issue and that the law at least supports both male and female sufferers alike.
Woolley & Co, Solicitors