A new campaign was launched on November first across the Falkland Islands aimed at raising awareness of domestic abuse and encouraging survivors, perpetrators, friends and family to access advice and support. Details were specified in a release from the Royal Falkland Islands Police.
The campaign follows on from the successful child safeguarding project and involves a range of activities including training for front line staff on how to spot domestic abuse and support referrals through health and social services or confidential conversations with the police. It also features a series of performances and workshop sessions by drama theatre company Certain Curtain, to bring to life the hidden tactics of domestic abuse and how devastating it can be for everyone involved. A new range of posters will also be rolled out across the Islands featuring different domestic abuse scenarios and signposting people to the range of support that is available in the community.
Speaking of the launch, Chief of Police Jeff McMahon said: “Domestic abuse has a lasting impact on survivors, their children, families, friends and the wider population. We know that instances of domestic abuse are under-reported in the Falkland Islands and this campaign aims to shine a light on this issue so that people don’t feel that they have to suffer in silence. We want to encourage people to come forward, to take that initial step, because they will be listened to and they will be protected. We want to remove the stigma around this issue and reassure people that, despite living in a small community, we will do everything that we can to protect their anonymity and work with survivors to give them the support they need.”
Senior Constable Alex Douglas is spearheading the initiative and explains how it encompasses more than just the traditional appeal to people experiencing domestic abuse themselves: “We really want everyone to feel empowered to start a conversation about domestic abuse. It can be difficult to spot the initial signs, so this campaign is very clear about the many types of behaviour that can constitute domestic abuse. Often friends and family can see from the outside that a relationship is not healthy and we are appealing not only to survivors who are in that harmful situation, but also to their loved ones, to help them have the confidence get help for someone they are worried about.”
Domestic abuse can be characterised by psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse; it also includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour or violence.
Signs to look out for include:
• acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation
• harming, punishing, or frightening a person
• isolating the person from sources of support
• exploitation of someone’s resources or money
• preventing the person from escaping abuse
• regulating everyday behaviour, such as not allowing a person to choose who to talk to or what to wear.
Finally, you can report in confidence to your medical professional, social services or the police.