Monday 25 November marks the start of 16 Days of Action – an international campaign to end domestic and sexual violence and abuse.
Domestic and sexual violence and abuse can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or religion.
The theme for Gloucestershire’s 16 Days of Action campaign this year is Our Community Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. Its aim is to educate and inform the community about domestic abuse and sexual violence and how to support family, friends and/or community members.
Carol Innes, Specialist Safeguarding Nurse for Domestic Abuse for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHSFT, said: “As our annual 16 Days of Action commence it is worth reminding ourselves that we are all victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV), whether directly or indirectly.
“For those directly affected there is support in our community through the tireless work of Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS, telephone 01452 726570), Hope House Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC, telephone 0300 421 8400), Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC, telephone 01452 526770) and West Mercia Women’s Aid for Herefordshire (telephone 0800 783 1359).
“The indirect impact of DASV is the economic and social cost, estimated at £66 billion in England and Wales (CSEW, 2019). The largest proportion of this sum is the physical and emotional harm (fear, anxiety, depression) incurred by victims and their dependants (£47 billion). The remaining cost to our economy is through time off work and reduced productivity (£14 billion), our health services (£2.3 billion) and the police (£1.3 billion).
“As health service employees we have a responsibility to respond to those who tell us they are victims of abuse; whether it’s our colleagues or clients. Should you have any concerns please contact GDASS, GRASAC, Hope House SARC, Fiona Bird, Specialist Safeguarding Practitioner (telephone 0300 421 7081), or myself, Carol Innes, on 0300 421 8111.”
Hope House Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
Based at Hope House, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, the SARC provides victims of rape or sexual assault, their friends and families, with access to emotional, psychological, medical and practical help.
SARC Crisis Worker Ava Carpenter said: “The strapline for this year’s 16 Days campaign is Our Community Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. The key message is to encourage and empower our community to look out for the signs of abuse and know where to find services to help.
“Here at Hope House SARC we are actively encouraging everyone to get talking about domestic abuse and sexual violence and taking the stigma away from the words, as well as shining a light on the fact that domestic abuse and violence is real and happening in our community.”
To find out more about Hope House SARC visit the website. You can call the Hope House SARC Crisis Team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year on 0300 421 8400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org