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Friends and family can be a “lifeline to support” for victims of domestic abuse, says Citizens Advice Waltham Forest

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest is highlighting that as many as 1 in 3 people in Waltham Forest  may know someone who is suffering from domestic abuse, but that many will not know how best to help.

On the back of new research from the national charity Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest is raising awareness of specialist helplines people can call if they suspect someone they know may be in an abusive relationship.

Whilst friends and family in Waltham Forest  can play a key role encouraging victims to seek specialist help, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest says they currently face difficulties in helping victims this way. In its new report, A link in the chain, national Citizens Advice finds that most people in Britain do not feel equipped to help someone who is suffering from domestic abuse.

Findings from the report and a survey of over 2,000 British adults conducted by Comres for Citizens Advice, also reveal:

  • Those with personal experience of domestic abuse are over three times more likely to say that their friends and family are aware of the abuse (48 per cent) than the police (14 per cent)
  • Only 16 per cent of British adults said no barriers would discourage them from telling somebody else about their concerns.
  • More than 1 in 3 people (36 per cent) who have personally experienced abuse didn’t tell anyone else. Victims can be too afraid or isolated to talk to others about their abuse.

As part of a new national campaign, Talk About Abuse, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest  is also suggesting that the role family and friends already play in supporting victims of domestic abuse should be considered in the UK Government’s announced review of how it approaches domestic abuse.

“We are joining the national Talk About Abuse campaign so we can help ordinary people know how to recognise abuse, talk about it safely, enable victims to make the right decisions for themselves. 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 freephone helplines. You can also get help and support from Citizens Advice Waltham Forest.

The helplines people can call are:

  • 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
  • If you live in Wales you can call the bilingual Live Fear Free national helpline on 0808 80 10 800

For more information contact: Citizens Advice Waltham Forest Adviceline Tel: 03444889626

To find out more about the on going talk about abuse campaign follow the link below.