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Caithness News Bulletins November 2004

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New Phase For Domestic Abuse Campaign     Scottish Helpline 0800 027 1234 (24/7 365 Days)
On new advertising campaign from Scottish Executive

New radio adverts which highlight the emotional impact of domestic abuse were unveiled today.

One depicts the personal trauma of a woman's abusive relationship and the other is from the perspective of a domestic abuse helpline worker waiting to answer a call.

These new adverts will complement the Behind Closed Doors television adverts which will re-run from Boxing Day until February. Adverts will also appear in national and local press.

The main message of the campaign remains the same: help and support is available if you are suffering domestic abuse.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "Too many women and children live in fear of domestic abuse.  "This campaign is an important part of our work and it's vital that we continue to challenge and overcome the acceptance of abuse. Perpetrators need to know that society will not accept their behaviour.

"We have to reach anyone suffering abuse to tell them help is available - whether it is support from the helpline, a place in refuge or help from Women's Aid and the police.

"Public awareness has been raised to its highest ever level in Scotland. But we must not be complacent - there is still much to be done."

Kate McLaughlin of the Domestic Abuse Helpline (0800 027 1234)said: "Being a volunteer on the helpline is very important to me as it means I can offer support to women who are in the position I was in many years ago.

"As a survivor of domestic abuse when there was no helpline, I know that the service it offers is a vital resource for women in these circumstances by providing confidential information, support and a listening ear."

Mary Lockhart of Scottish Women's Aid said: "Domestic abuse is a major blight on the lives of women, children and young people every day, of every month, of every year.  "We've campaigned for 30 years to raise awareness and are delighted that the Executive highlights the issue every Christmas.  "During the festive season last year, hundreds of women telephoned the helpline or contacted Women's Aid in response to the campaign. Christmas is a time of hope, and New Year gives the chance of a fresh start.

"We hope many women will hear or see this year's advertisements and take the first steps to building a new life free from fear, free from the blight of domestic abuse and free to enjoy many happy Christmases in the years to come."

Last year, over 15,000 calls were made to the domestic abuse helpline ( 0800 027 1234) which operates 24 hours, seven days a week. Calls increase dramatically when the campaign is running.

The Executive traditionally launches its domestic abuse campaign over the festive period because this is when police and Women's Aid groups report a higher incidence of complaints.

Domestic abuse takes many forms. It can be violent behaviour, financial or emotional control. It can affect people regardless of their background, social class or age.

The Behind Closed Doors commercial originally ran in 2001. It will re-run on television from December 26 until the end of February 2005.

The 0800 027 1234 Domestic Abuse Helpline operates 24 hours, seven days a week.

Anyone looking for support and information can speak confidentially to a trained adviser. Critically, the calls will not appear on a phone bill and so cannot be traced. The Helpline is sponsored by THUS.

Spending levels on domestic abuse are at record levels in Scotland. Since 1999 the Executive has committed over 38 million for enhanced refuge provision, provided specialist services such as the telephone helpline and support workers for women and children.