UK SAYS NO MORE launched in May 2016 with the core idea behind the campaign being that only together can we end domestic violence and sexual assault. UK SAYS NO MORE itself is a partnership between London charity Hestia, and the NO MORE campaign in the US.
Lyndsey Dearlove, VAWG (violence against women and girls) Partnership Manager at Hestia, discusses the importance of partnerships:
Why not start your own campaign – why did Hestia partner with a US campaign?
Hestia, a London based charity supporting adults and children in crisis, has for over 40 years provided accommodation based support and community based support to adults and children with varying support needs such as mental health, domestic abuse, isolation, victims of human trafficking and adults living with a disability to name a few.
Being a charity that supports many people with different needs, we were in a unique position to see and understand that many of our service users disclosed that they had been victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence, and that this had an impact on their daily lives, their families, and the support they were currently receiving.
We know that:
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and this leads to, on average, 2 women being murdered each week and 30 men per year (Crime Survey England and Wales 2015).
Around 1 in 5 children have been exposed to domestic abuse (NSPCC 2016)
1 in 5 teenagers have been physically abused by their boyfriends or girlfriends (NSPCC 2016)
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour (ONS 2013).
Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence choose to report to the police
Many awareness campaigns are short lived, often focusing on one issue. Although, they are at times impactful, they often disappear on notice boards after being replaced by the next campaign poster.
We were keen to try something different and the NO MORE campaign spoke to us – as it had a simple message that we believed in, ‘Only together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault’.
The campaign is built on partnerships, and the understanding that although we have different approaches to working with victims of domestic violence there is a common thread that binds us all together – and that is that we all want to see an end to domestic violence and sexual assault.
‘We take an inclusive approach to partnerships – recognising that we all have theoretical and philosophical understandings of intimate partner violence but ultimately the thread that links us all together is that we want to end domestic violence and sexual assault’.
As professionals working in the social care sector, we pride ourselves on the fact that we understand what domestic violence and sexual assault is, understanding how to identify victims of domestic violence and how in turn how to offer support to victims. Although this is incredibly important it is only part of the solution.
We need to engage everyone in the understanding that only together we can end domestic abuse and sexual assault. This includes employers, friends and family members and in particular other public facing organisations – such as sports teams, bars, restaurants and shops.
Many survivors of domestic violence tell us that they tried to tell someone on numerous occasions but were at times met with disbelief. Sometimes they were dismissed until finally someone, a police officer, a support worker, housing officer, health visitor, teacher, medical professional a friend or family member, passed on the telephone number of a specialist support service and they were able to access the support that they needed.
Police statistics tell us that on average there are 35 incidents of abuse before a victim receives the support that they need1.
What the above tells us is that we need to do better for victims of abuse. We all need to feel confident in our knowledge and understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault, and we need to encourage everyone to learn a little more about it – so how do we do that?
By working together…
The UK SAYS NO MORE campaign launched back in May 2016, initially with 10 London-based partners. These partners were from both the social care sector but also the commercial sector. All of our partners agreed to Endorse, Promote and Take a Stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. The campaign now has over 100 partners across education, the arts, the social care sector and the corporate world – all working together to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
Why are UK SAYS NO MORE partnerships beneficial to victims of domestic abuse?
The benefits of partnerships are best described by Amber’s story: ‘Amber was a Mum of two children, living in the leafy suburb of Kingston and working at a leading law firm in the city. She was married and her husband worked in the city – they travelled to and from work together and the only time her time was not accounted for was when she was at work. As the incidents of abuse increased, her work performance dipped and she was called into a meeting by her employer.
Fortunately, the law firm had recently implemented a Human Resources domestic abuse policy, and Amber’s line manager had attended workshops about understanding what domestic abuse is and how it could impact an employee at work. Amber felt safe to disclose to her line manager that things at home were not okay and Amber’s line manager was able to support her, by using the Bright Sky App, to put Amber in contact with a specialist support service – who with her manager’s support were able to visit Amber at work and work with her to create a plan to enable her and her children to move to a place of safety. The implementation of HR policy was supported by a domestic abuse charity.
Why are campaign partnerships important?
For UK SAYS NO MORE, each partnership we form is an opportunity to collaborate and raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. Each organisation we partner with, whether it be a non-profit, partner in the arts, education or government, brings their own unique knowledge, experience and potential.
#GivingTuesday is an initiative launched in the UK in 2014 – another gift from our friends in the US, and is a campaign to encourage the public to donate a little to charity – where a little goes a long way – after the epic spending over the weekend, which began with Black Friday and ended with Cyber Monday.
As well as inspiring thousands to donate to a charity of their choice, #GivingTuesday provides members of the public with an opportunity to get involved through an array of avenues such as sport, baking, film, social media, or donating unwanted clothing.
We’re so pleased to have partnered with #GivingTuesday and celebrate in their success. Last year, they inspired the nation to donate £6,000 + every minute to charity, and set a world record for the most money donated online in 24 hours. Each year #GivingTuesday becomes the UK’s leading Twitter trend, encouraging people worldwide to do something good by donating to worthwhile causes and doing ‘good stuff’.
1 Yearnshaw 1997, accessed at http://safer.sthelens.gov.uk/SITEMANV2/publications/40/0901316LeafletsforDVVictims_3.pdf
If you are interested in becoming a partner of the campaign, you can contact Lyndsey at Lyndsey.Dearlove@hestia.org.