A new website for anyone living with emotional or physical abuse in Torbay is being launched on Monday 24 November 2014 as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week.

Areyouok.co.uk has been funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg and has been created by Safer Communities Torbay, which is a partnership of agencies including Torbay Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.

Tony Hogg, said: “I am delighted that my office has been able to directly fund the areyouok website and to support Safer Communities Torbay in its work to protect the most vulnerable in society. I know that this money will be targeted directly at victims, because it is proven that when partner organisations form close bonds and share the pressures that all public organisations face these days, it can really help victims. It is my job to make sure that my office can provide this level of targeted support to such organisations so that victims are not left to deal with society’s most heinous crimes on their own.”

The site aims to support people to leave an abusive relationship safely. It provides information and advice to victims of domestic abuse and anyone who may be concerned that someone they care for is being abused. The site also includes a directory of services for victims and their families.

Superintendent Glen Mayhew Devon, Policing Commander for South Devon, said: “I am delighted that areyouok has been launched as a new way of reaching out to people in Torbay who may be living with abuse and to raise awareness about the types of services that are available to help. When we think about reporting a crime we often think about reporting a person who we don’t know, perhaps someone who has stolen something from us or damaged our property. When a crime is committed against us by someone we’re related to or intimately involved with, that can be really tough.

"Every relationship is unique and even in healthy relationships things can get complicated. When someone who is supposed to love and care for us, whether that be a partner, a family member or someone else, male or female, instead chooses to hurt us emotionally or physically, the thought of reporting that person can seem just too complicated to deal with.

“The fact is that people who harm their partners or their families are committing crimes. Devon and Cornwall Police work with a wide variety of organisations to provide specialist support to victims of these types of crimes and I would urge anyone who is directly experiencing abuse in Torbay to contact the police. If that seems like too big a step for someone there are other services such as Torbay Domestic Abuse Service who can offer help and support and further advice is available at www.areyouok.co.uk.”

As well as introducing areyouok.co.uk, Domestic Abuse Awareness Week will also be hosting a series of public drop in information sessions in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The sessions which are being led by Sanctuary Supported Living Torbay Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) will be staffed by specially trained domestic abuse support workers and staff from other organisations. The following sessions will be taking place:

  • Monday 24 November at Torquay Connections 10am to 4pm
  • Tuesday 25 November at Torquay Connections 10am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 26 November at Paignton Connections 10am to 4pm
  • Thursday 27 November at Brixham Library 10am to 4pm

During the week Devon and Cornwall Police will also be launching a new campaign ‘Shatters Lives’ to raise awareness of the impact domestic abuse can have on children and young people.

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Safer Communities, Highways, Environment and Sport, Councillor Robert Excell, said: “People who mentally or physically harm members of their family or their partners don’t usually advertise it. They hide what they do because they know it is wrong; they will manipulate; they will lie and they will blame their behaviour on other things including their victim. They will control and they will isolate their victim until they are alone, powerless and compliant. They hide behind the ‘privacy’ of relationships and they hide behind the silence society creates of ‘minding our own business’. We owe it to the female, male and young victims of abuse to break that silence.

“Safer Communities Torbay has created areyouok.co.uk as a place for information and advice for anyone who has or is being harmed emotionally and/or physically by their partner or someone else in their family. We have called it areyouok? because sometimes it can be really hard to ask the question, especially if the response scares us, but it will be nothing compared to the fear of someone living with abuse. If someone is being harmed, it’s also a question they might not have been asked for a long time.”

 


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