Campaign launched in Essex to help domestic abuse victims over 55
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
A campaign has been launched in Essex to help older victims of domestic abuse speak out and get the support they need after new figures have revealed the number of reports has almost doubled.
Data released as part of the new scheme has revealed that the number of domestic abuse incidents involving a victim aged 55 upwards during 2016/17 was 2,985 – almost double the 1,500 figure the year before.
The Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) has launched the new project, working alongside Essex Police and Essex County Council to help give support for those vulnerable victims.
Dick Madden, chairman of SETDAB and cabinet member for children and families at ECC, said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable, whatever your age- this is the message we are sending to anyone that may be suffering.
“The latest figures are not only worrying, but unacceptable. This campaign aims to reach out to victims 55 and over and let them know that there is life after domestic abuse and that support is just a phone call away.”
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It is understood to be the first campaign of its kind in the country to specifically target those aged over 55.
It will help victims take part in activities and do positive things they previously weren’t able to, working directly with victims whose stories and experiences have helped form the campaign.
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Essex Police assistant chief constable Andy Prophet said domestic abuse made up around a third of all violent crime in the county.
He added: “Many victims of domestic abuse don’t want or need police action – they want support to make the changes that will help them live the lives they want.
“Essex Police wholeheartedly supports this campaign and I need anyone who needs help to call the 55+ safety net phone line.”
Victims can call the phone line on 01206 500584 or visit www.livingwellessex.org/55-plus.
Bright posters are being set up across the county while a series of short films have been produced in which past victims share their words on why getting support is important.
Jane Gardner, deputy police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, added: “I hope that this campaign will really help victims know that they don’t have to suffer in silence and that perpetrators can get the help they need to change their behaviour.”