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Warner Goodman LLP standing up to domestic abuse
- AuthorGraeme Barclay
The Family law team sees every day the impact domestic abuse has on people across Hampshire, and it’s for this reason they are supporting White Ribbon Day on Wednesday 25th November.
“According to the Office of National Statistics, an estimated 1.4 million women suffered domestic abuse in 2014 in the UK, with 20% of those taking medical leave for reasons associated with domestic abuse,” begins Graeme Barclay, Family Law Partner at the firm. “White Ribbon Day is the chance for everyone across the world, not just the UK, to support the belief that women and girls should live their lives free of the fear of violence.”
While White Ribbon Day is specifically to condone violence against women, it is important to also raise awareness that men can be victims too. “Across both men and women, only 17% report incidents of domestic abuse to the police and 33% stated that they had not told anyone,” explains Graeme. “This then asks the inevitable question of how many more people there are who are suffering from domestic abuse and who are not coming forward.”
In Southampton, White Ribbon Day is being promoting in a slightly different way. Southampton City Council and the Southampton Sexual & Domestic Violence Forum are encouraging people to send in photos of themselves holding messages of support for victims, with the photos being posted through an online campaign.
“World Ribbon Day is about getting people talking about the reality of domestic abuse, to encourage those who are suffering not to do so in silence and feel like they are on their own, and we think this campaign is an excellent way to do so,” continues Graeme.
“Whether someone has suffered abuse over a prolonged period of time, or there has been one incident, it’s so important that victims don’t feel like they have nowhere to turn, or feel concerned about their partner’s reaction if they do report any incidents or seek help,” explains Graeme. “This may be easier said than done, but there are a number of different ways that we can help, whether that is through letters or by seeking a court order such as a non-molestation order.
“These may not seem like very forceful methods to deal with abuse, but they are proven methods to make the abuser to take heed of their actions, and realise what the consequences could be,” concludes Graeme. “If you’re concerned that seeking legal advice may not be affordable, domestic abuse is the only aspect of family law that can still be funded by legal aid. No-one should have to be afraid of the people in their lives who they should be able to trust, and by seeking legal guidance you can find out the right options for you with straight forward and discrete advice.”
For more information about the Southampton City Council selfie campaign, please click here. Alternatively, if you’d like information on how the Family Law team can help support you, then you can call Graeme on 02380 717431 or visit their section of the website here.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.