Taking a stand against abuse this Christmas with awareness campaign across Northampton

Abuse of all kinds is being tackled by organisations from across Northampton as part of the international 16 Days of Activism campaign, which starts today (Monday, November 25).

Northampton Community Safety Partnership's ‘Don’t let abuse shatter your Christmas’ campaign aims to raise awareness of support services ahead of the festive period when abuse can increase.

Instances of abuse can increase around Christmas time. Photo: NSPCC

Instances of abuse can increase around Christmas time. Photo: NSPCC

A Northampton Borough Council spokesperson said: “16 Days is an important international movement which we are proud to be supporting in Northampton for the third year running.

“Our campaign ‘Don’t let abuse shatter your Christmas’ helps to not only identify abusive behaviours but also the many agencies that can help in in all manner of situations.

“Utilising various venues that people use regularly, we aim to reach out to both men and women again this year, ensuring that they know that support is available if they need it."

Until to December 10, the group will be distributing leaflets, posters and information baubles in venues, work places and retailers across the town.

Businesses and taxi drivers will also be asked to place stickers in their windows, in support of the campaign.

Several pop-up support surgeries are also being held where agencies will be on hand to provide advice and guidance, including Voice for Victims and Witnesses.

Charity chief executive Fiona Campbell said “This campaign is important to raise awareness of what gender based violence is, and who are the agencies in Northamptonshire that can support individuals if they are in an abusive relationship and wish to seek help.

"Voice knows how difficult it can be to speak out or seek help, but it’s never too late to do so.

"Voice is a free and confidential support service for anyone living in Northamptonshire who has been a victim or witness of crime.

"The crime does not have to have been reported to the Police and it doesn’t matter when or where the crime was committed.

"You know longer need to suffer in silence whatever your situation Voice is here to assist you.

"To contact us telephone 0300 303 1965 or visit our website at www.voicenorthants.org.uk."

The partnership will also be supporting Northamptonshire Police’s #CutitoutNorthants campaign, which aims to educate hairdressers and the wider public to recognise the warning signs of domestic and sexual abuse and to help refer them onto support organisations.

Assistant Chief Constable James Andronov added: “Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for the force and everyone has a role to play in preventing and supporting those affected.

“Domestic abuse can be physical or psychological and affects women, men and children, from all walks of life. It isn’t always easy to spot and it can be even harder to talk about but through our awareness raising we hope to instil the importance of being curious, asking questions and look out for some of the red flags like controlling behaviour, constant surveillance and the abuse.

“Hairdressers and therapists are in a unique position to help those who may be experiencing any type of abuse, reassure them and encourage them to take the first steps to getting safe.”

To request copies of the 'Don’t let abuse shatter your Christmas' materials, email forums@northampton.gov.uk

#CutitoutNorthants details can be found at @NorthantsPolice on Twitter or www.northants.police.uk.

Salon professionals who would like to know more can contact CutItOut@northants.pnn.police.uk

Surgeries confirmed are as follows:

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 26): Northampton College, Booth Lane,12.15pm to 1.30pm

Wednesday (November 27): Northampton County Council, 12pm to 2pm

Thursday (November 28): Northampton Borough Council, 11am to 2pm

Friday (November 29): Metro Bank, 12pm to 2pm

Monday, December 2: Northampton University, 10am to 12pm

Tuesday, December 3: Northampton College (The Mounts), 12pm to 2pm

Wednesday, December 4: Northampton University

Thursday, December 5: Weston Favell Shopping Centre, 10am to 2pm

Friday, December 6: Northampton General Hospital, 10am to 2pm