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16 Days of Action


This Saturday (25 November) marked the beginning of 16 Days of Action against domestic abuse.


The internationally recognised campaign takes place from 25 November until 10 December and highlights the issues of domestic abuse and raises awareness of the different forms it can take.


That’s not just abuse against women, but also domestic abuse incidents involving men or children.


Figures show that in 2016/17 there were an average of 275 domestic abuse incidents reported each month in Central Bedfordshire – and shockingly there was a child present in almost half of all reported incidents.


Locally, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton councils and Bedfordshire Police are uniting with local charities, support services and other organisations to raise awareness of the subject and to highlight ways that victims can seek help.


As well as the awareness messages and blog posts on the different organisations’ social media channels and websites, there are a host of events taking place locally over the 16 Days. They include:


·         A quiz night at The Pheasant pub, in Bedford, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 29 November

·         An art exhibition at Bedford Central Library running for a month from 25 November


Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care and Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The 16 Days of Action are a very important way of raising awareness of domestic abuse as well as the local support services available.We all need to work together to support victims and help prevent these crimes. And hopefully this will encourage anyone who feels trapped in a violent relationship to take the first steps to escaping.”


Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “We need communities as a whole to play their part and stand up against violence against women and girls. I encourage anyone who knows of, or suspects, domestic violence is taking place to speak out as any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship needs to be addressed. This campaign helps to send out a clear message across our community that we will not stay silent about domestic violence.”


Councillor Naseem Ayub, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care & Domestic Abuse at Luton Council, said “We are supporting the 16 Days of Action against domestic violence campaign through social media, pushing the point that anyone could know a hidden victim. Domestic abuse isn’t just about physical violence. It also includes psychological, sexual, financial and emotional control and abuse. Throughout the 16 Days we want to highlight the various forms of abuse and make it clear that it can affect anyone, from any background. There is no ‘average type’. And we want to really stress that if you are a hidden victim, there are people who will listen, be it a nursery school worker, a friend, a GP or someone you work with.”


For more details of events taking place over the 16 Days, check out the local organisations’ social media feeds.


They will also have details of local support services. You can also find information about these on the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership’s website at https://bedsdv.org.uk/

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