As today marks the international day for elimination of violence against women (White Ribbon Day), Camden Council reveals a shocking new statistic about the rise in young people seeking help in the last year.
Following the recent change in the Government’s definition of domestic violence to include 16 and 17 year olds, the Council’s hard-hitting awareness campaign has sparked a rise of 44% in referrals from 16 to 25 year olds. And the campaign has struck a chord with young people across the country as the campaign’s video went viral being shared and viewed over 4,200 times on social media. This has seen people from areas like Birmingham, Cheshire and Northamptonshire reaching out for help to get support locally.
“Controlling behaviour has become worryingly normalised in the minds of young people. Four in ten girls believe it is acceptable for a partner to make you tell them where you are all the time, while one in four say it is okay for a partner to tell you what you can and cannot wear” said Cllr Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council.
The campaign ‘KNOW this isn’t love’ was created to raise awareness of the signs of relationship abuse to show that it doesn’t have to be physical but can also involve verbal, financial, sexual and psychological abuse – in a way which captures young people’s interest.
Cllr Hayward continued: “Whilst it’s encouraging that we’ve seen a rise in reports of domestic abuse amongst younger people, we need to remember that this is only the start of tackling this very serious problem. There were more than 3,000 incidents of domestic violence reported in Camden last year, but this is estimated to only be a third of the total abuse that happens”.
“The response we’ve had to the campaign has been striking and shows what a significant social problem this is in 2014, affecting young people up and down the country. We’re leading the way nationally in helping under-25s understand what relationship abuse is, when behaviour is unhealthy and that there is help available. On White Ribbon Day we’re calling on Council’s across the country to invest in this area and help us get this vital message out.”
Off the back of this work the Council is now planning a new campaign starting in January 2015 to target people over the age of 50 as research has shown this age group are traditionally under supported and nationally there has been a number of high profile homicides committed involving older women who have been the victim of domestic violence.