16 day scheme supports women’s aid ‘Real Man’ campaign
By Tim Williams
A 16 day campaign against gender violence in Merton began on 25th November with Merton Council asking residents to make a stand against domestic abuse.
This year’s theme, which ties in with women’s aid’s ‘Real Man’ campaign, asks men to stand up and say that real men do not abuse and control women – physically, emotionally, sexually or financially.
The campaign is supported by a host of celebrities including Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne (pictured) and popstar Will Young as well as Tooting and Mitcham FC, the Met Police and Merton’s fire stations.
There were 1048 domestic offences recorded in Merton between April 2009 and March 2010 and it is believed that 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence in the United Kingdom.
The scheme also encourages men not to be embarrassed to ask for help if they are victims of domestic violence themselves as at least 20 per cent of victims in Merton are male.
Merton opened a One Stop Shop in September which offers confidential and professional support from a wide range of sources. Victim Support, Merton Council, the Metropolitan Police and many other organisations are all working together to highlight the impact domestic violence can have on family life.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, Councillor Edith Macauley said: “Domestic violence is something that no one should ever have to experience. Unfortunately though, it continues to be an issue and this is why here in Merton we are working hard to make sure residents have access to support services.
“The One Stop Shop offers confidential advice and a wide range of expertise and I encourage any residents affected by domestic violence to seek out help, don’t suffer alone.”
Picture courtesy of Conor McClure, with thanks