Tackling domestic abuse
Norfolk is becoming a leading light nationally in tackling domestic abuse, having now trained more than 1,000 ‘champions’ to help people living in abusive situations.
This year, Norfolk County Council’s domestic abuse partnership won the Public Health Innovation Award at the local government MJ Awards in London, for our work to combat abuse and raise awareness.
The county’s domestic abuse change coordinators are highly experienced in the causes and effects of abuse and how to spot the signs. They run regular workshops across the county to train 'champions' and create a network of people in the community who can offer help.
Champions learn how to spot the signs of people living with abuse, and how to support these individuals in a safe and understanding way whilst also recognising where to find the best help.
They are mostly people who work with the public in everyday life – in schools, hospitals, GP surgeries – and also social workers.
Abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional and financial abuse. Norfolk County Council is working hard with its partners to get the message out that it is now against the law to exert coercion and control over a partner or family member.
Words of someone who lived with abuse
“When I first realised the moods and mental health episodes weren’t okay, I simply did not want to believe the truth. Meeting with one of the domestic abuse change workers was the most amazing experience. I wasn’t going mad. It’s such a cliché but I really never thought it would happen to me. She was the person who didn’t judge me for staying and helped me break the patterns of behaviour that kept me in the cycle of forgiveness and incessant hope he would change. He never has. More than any other service it was the domestic abuse worker who helped – with proper advice, not woolly but clear, concise and timely. She was literally a lifeline.”
Anyone can call the confidential 24-hour national helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/domesticabuse
In an emergency call 999.