This White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Action that followed it, we worked with our charity, Key Unlocking Futures, to raise awareness of domestic abuse, challenge harmful attitudes and behaviours, and campaign to end gender-based violence. 

Jayne, Key Unlocking Futures Business Development Manager, shared a blog on domestic abuse and the support they provide.

Once again, we joined with Progress Housing Group to support the White Ribbon and 16 Days of Action campaigns aimed at ending gender-based abuse. 

We will all know someone who is going through or has been through domestic abuse. The Office for National Statistics data at the end of March 2023 estimated that 1.4 million women experienced domestic abuse in the last year, with two women a week being killed at the hands of their current or ex-partner. Men also experience domestic abuse, with one in six men experiencing it during their lifetime and thirty men being killed each year. Children are massively affected by domestic abuse, too, with one in five children either experiencing it or witnessing it during their childhood. 

Domestic abuse can be physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour (where people feel like they are being controlled or must behave in a particular way for fear of violence or abuse if they don’t). The women and families we support often experience more than one of these types of abuse. 

At Key Unlocking Futures, we offer a variety of ways to help victims of domestic abuse – we have our Safe at Homes (Outreach) programme, where we support both men and women who want to stay in their homes or cannot access refuge or alternative accommodation. 

We run a 24-hour helpline that runs every day of the year – and again, this is open to all. We run two refuges for women and their children but are also part of a consortium with refuge space for men. We also run a healthy relationships programme, offering free sessions to schools teaching children what makes for a healthy relationship. 

Whilst staying in the refuges, the children can access support from our children’s worker, who helps them overcome the effects of domestic abuse, as well as teach them how to play – a skill the children don’t usually have.

This year, as part of our support for White Ribbon Day and 16 Days of Action, my colleagues held a stand on the Leyland market, encouraging people to show their support by wearing a white ribbon badge, which was made by the women and children staying at our refuges. Asking that people wear them to show they you will neither commit, condone, or bear witness to abuse towards women. People could also find out more about the support services available.

Our partners, Progress Housing Group, have also added the campaign pledge and information to their work vans, which are out and about across Lancashire every day. In the hope of sharing the message that domestic abuse is not acceptable and must stop. Along with our helpline contact details. 

I have also shared a message for a local radio station, which has been played numerous times over the 16 Day of Action – the 25 November to the 10 December, and we will continue to work with the radio station to reach as many people as we can and share more information on the support available and how people who may be suffering in silence can get the help they need.

If you have any concerns about someone being affected by domestic abuse – ring us on our 24-hour helpline at 01772 435865 or head to our website for more information.  Domestic Abuse Support - Key Unlocking Futures (keycharity.org.uk)