New website for domestic abuse victims
25 November 2010, 06:00
Around 11,500 cases of domestic abuse were reported in Hertfordshire last year.
Heart's got the figures as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness week - on the same day that the Hertfordshire Community Safety Unit launches a new website to help victims.
The launch of www.hertssunflower.org coincides with White Ribbon Day - the day we're all being asked to think about how we can help eliminate domestic violence.
The site offers support to people who are experiencing abuse, but also for their friends, family and colleagues. People who are committing the abuse can also use the site as a way to find out how they can change their behaviour. In the new year it's planned to put an online reporting form on the site.
Sarah Taylor - the Domestic Violence Programme Manager for the Community Safety Unit - told Heart:
"Not everybody wants to walk in to a building [to get help] or pick up the phone and it's another way of helping them access that service."
The website is equipped with "cover your tracks" and a quick exit button, so anyone who's worried about an abuser knowing they've visited the site will be able to use it without leaving any signs.
According to Ms Taylor the number of reports of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire are going up - which is actually being seen as a positive thing - as it means people are more confident to come forward for help. It's hoped this new site - as well as other initiatives that have been carried out this week - will mean more victims will take steps to change their situation.
As well as the website, you can call the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088 for more information. It's a free call and will be answered between 10am-10pm Monday to Friday.