No more walking on egg shells - Domestic Abuse Awareness Week

06 June 2018

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Friends and family of people suffering domestic abuse are being encouraged during Domestic Abuse Awareness Week (Monday 11 to Sunday 17 June 2018) to learn how they can help their loved ones if they suspect they are in an abusive relationship. Men, women and children living with abuse are being encouraged to speak out, seek help and ultimately #breakthesilence.

The awareness week also aims to bust myths about the subject and raise awareness amongst more people that hidden forms of abuse, such as coercive control, are perhaps more prevalent than they think and can happen to anyone, at any stage of life. Telling someone how to dress, when they can see their family, reading their texts or cutting them off from their friends is never okay. These are coercive and controlling behaviours that are a form of domestic abuse.

In Surrey, there is plenty of help, support and advice available. Your Sanctuary is the local domestic abuse service. It provides a Surrey helpline that anyone can use, whether you're a friend, family member, colleague or experiencing domestic abuse yourself.

Fiamma Pather, Chief Executive Officer at Your Sanctuary, explains: "So many people find it difficult to recognise the signs of abuse with their family and friends, and struggle to believe that it is happening to somebody they know. However, the key message we want people to know this Domestic Abuse Awareness Week is that it really can happen to anyone.

"We are also working to dispel the long-held myths that it is somehow the victim's fault, or that someone in an abusive situation can just walk away. It is rarely ever that simple and it is certainly never the victim's fault. We are keen that people acknowledge that the responsibility for the abuse sits fairly and squarely with the perpetrator.

"Specialist services such as Your Sanctuary can offer emotional support, practical advice and safety planning for women, men and children who are experiencing violence and abuse. There are also services available for perpetrators - if we can tackle the root of the situation we can start to reduce the incidences of domestic abuse in the future."

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, added: "Domestic abuse affects many people across all social classes, age groups, ethnic background and can happen at any time in a relationship. The more people who understand the signs of domestic abuse and talk about the subject openly, the more awareness we can raise of the problem. Together we can encourage victims to speak out and break the silence that they feel surrounds them.

"So, this Domestic Abuse Awareness Week (11 to 17 June) we're asking anyone who recognises the signs of abusive or controlling behaviour in their, or a friend's, relationship, to seek help and support."

Events will take place in Woking Town Centre to raise awareness, not only of the services available to victims, but also provide information to concerned family members, neighbours, close friends or work colleagues.

  • - Tuesday 12 June, 11am to 4pm, Wolsey Place Shopping Centre (outside Sainsbury's)

  • - Wednesday 13 June, 4pm to 7pm, Woking Train Station

  • - General information is also available to pick up throughout the week at Wolsey Place Shopping Centre (outside Sainsbury's).

Further information can be found at

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who might be, please contact the Your Sanctuary helpline on 01483 776822 (available 9am to 9pm, seven days per week)

Surrey Domestic Abuse Awareness Week is supported by Surrey Police, Surrey County Council, Woking Borough Council, local charities and many other organisations to raise public awareness of domestic abuse.