Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, District and Borough Councils and NHS partners with the four domestic abuse outreach services have come together for Surrey Domestic Abuse Awareness Week, 14-20 June, to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, with a focus on coercive control in relationships.
There has been a consistently higher number of monthly referrals to Surrey’s specialist domestic abuse outreach services in 2020 than 2019. With the trend continuing in 2021, it is more important than ever to support people in coming forward for help.
This joint campaign ‘Not all abuse is physical’, which consists of two simple checklists, will run throughout Surrey Domestic Abuse Awareness Week. It aims to support survivors of abusive relationships, including young adults, to recognise the signs in others and it also seeks to help abusers recognise this behaviour in themselves.
Surrey County Council was recently allocated £1.9m in government funding to help deliver a new duty, introduced by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, to provide support for survivors of domestic abuse and their children that reside in safe accommodation. This support could include counselling and therapy for adults and children, support to help them to recognise the signs of abuse and housing-related, financial advice and support.
Joanna Killian, Surrey County Council Chief Executive Officer said: “Domestic abuse doesn’t always involve physical violence. It can be sexual, financial and emotional abuse. It is so important that we help survivors of domestic abuse relocate to a safe environment, and it is equally important that we support them to rebuild their lives.
“I am confident the support we will offer, will play a key part in the recovery and protection of domestic abuse survivors and their families in the long-term.”
Charlotte Kneer, Chief Executive of Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid refuge in Surrey, said: “Abuse can happen to anyone, and it often goes unrecognised. Children and young people that are new to relationships might not know what a healthy relationship is. So, it’s really important to help both young people and adults spot the signs when a relationship is unhealthy.
Sustained controlling behaviour such as regularly intimidating, bullying, criticising or threatening someone in a personal relationship, are all forms of what is called ‘coercive control’. This is a form of domestic abuse and is a criminal offence.
A range of help and support is available, including general advice and confidential listening. If you think you may be in a controlling relationship or know someone who is, visit the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse website, call Surrey’s Domestic Abuse helpline provided by Your Sanctuary on 01483 776822 or use the Your Sanctuary confidential online chat to get advice, signposting and information just as you would over the phone. In an emergency you should always call 999.
- Attached to this release is a resource pack, which can be shared widely (see below)
- There are four Domestic Abuse outreach services in Surrey:
– East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services: 01737 771350 (Serving Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge)
– Your Sanctuary: 01483 776822 (Serving Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath)
– North Surrey Domestic Abuse Services: 01932 260690 (Serving Epsom and Ewell, Elmbridge and Spelthorne)
– South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Services: 01483 898884 (Serving Guildford and Waverley)
- Surrey County Council has worked at pace with partners to provide more emergency refuge accommodation for families escaping domestic abuse.
- The LoveRespect website includes lots of helpful information for young people including a quiz to learn more about how healthy their relationship is, and advice on how to help a friend who might be spending time with someone who doesn’t treat them well
- Drawtheline.uk is an online interactive platform for use on a smartphone to help young people to identify harmful, toxic and abusive behaviour in their relationships and also provides information, help and advice.