Domestic Violence awareness campaign launch

Jersey Women's Refuge get ˜Behind Closed Doors'

THE Jersey Domestic Violence Forum will be launching a campaign entitled ˜Behind Closed Doors' to mark the 2009 Jersey Domestic Violence Awareness week which runs from 23-27 November inclusive.

The campaign name reflects that domestic violence is typically experienced behind closed doors and stickers behind doors will display contact details for Jersey Women's Refuge (JWR) in places that are discreetly accessible for women.

This year, The Women's Refuge, the States of Jersey Police and the Probation Service, under the banner of the Jersey Domestic Violence Forum, are once again joining forces to let Islanders know that domestic abuse and violence is an issue which needs to be out in the open. Mike Cutland, assistant chief probation officer, and chairman of the Jersey Domestic Violence Forum said:  ˜We are aware that domestic violence is a hidden crime that is often perpetrated behind closed doors. We believe this campaign, as in previous years, provides a valuable opportunity for people to think about domestic abuse and the issues it raises. It is important that agencies such as the Women's Refuge, Probation and the Police in Jersey continue to work together to tackle this problem, and under the umbrella of the Jersey Domestic Violence Forum, this is a reality. We always have tremendous support from Islanders for the campaign, and I am sure this year will be no exception.'

In the first six months of 2009, the States of Jersey Police dealt with 491 domestic incidents compared with 431 such incidents in the first half of 2008 and 365 during the same period in 2007. The States of Jersey Police take domestic violence very seriously, and are committed to bringing perpetrators of domestic abuse to justice.

In time for Monday 23rd November, stickers will be appearing on the backs of changing room and toilet doors throughout the island. The stickers feature the JWR free phone number and the JWR website. The campaign involves getting these stickers up ˜Behind Closed Doors'. The charity wants to get the message across that victims of domestic violence are not alone and that there are services and support readily available on the island.

Once again, powerful television and radio adverts will be broadcast by both the Women's Refuge and the Police on Channel TV and Channel 103 FM, and these will continue into December to help keep the issue of domestic abuse in people's minds.

Domestic Violence typically takes place away from view, behind closed doors, so JWR want to make sure that their number is anywhere and everywhere a woman could access it in private.

Lorna Kearney, Manager JWR said; "There is often an incredibly controlling element in a relationship where domestic violence is present, so we need to make sure that our contact details are readily accessible.

As well as high street shops and gyms putting the stickers up in their changing rooms, the Co-operative will be playing a big part in getting the message out. There will be piles of stickers by the tills in Co-Operative stores and customers are encouraged to pick stickers up and stick them behind any closed doors they see. The stickers have been specially made for Jersey Domestic Violence Awareness week, so that they can be easily removed afterwards if needed.

Jim Plumley, Marketing Manager, Channel Island's Co-Op said; "When Jersey Women's Refuge contacted us, we were more than happy to have the stickers available in our stores. We have such a large presence on the island; we see it as a responsibility to support schemes and organisations that affect the local community. We employ a workforce of more than 1,000 Channel Islanders, so we feel it's our duty to put the stickers up behind our closed doors too.

The Body Shop Jersey is a regular supporter of Jersey Women's Refuge and will be displaying information about Refuge and the campaign in Store. The Body Shop will be hosting a free prize draw when you pick up a sticker and fill in a form during Domestic Violence Awareness Week 2009.

Since announcing that JWR have been hit hard with an 80% drop in donations, the future is looking brighter as donations have increased, but the charity is still a long way from the £150,000 it needs to raise every year to survive.

Lorna Kearney, Manager JWR said; "We're still appealing, of course, because we need all the help we can get at the moment, but the awareness week is really about raising awareness of the problem and services available to help. This is what the refuge is all about. We want to make sure that anyone who may be affected by domestic violence will see one of our stickers when they're in toilets or changing rooms or staff rooms, take down our number or website and contact us.

"The awareness week is all about letting women know we're here to help; but it won't work without the public. We need everyone on board; if you see a sticker, stick it up! You could be helping someone you've never even met.

Notes to Editors
All journalists are invited to the launch of the Behind Closed Doors Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign 20009 at 5pm on Monday 23rd November at Jersey Opera House. Please RSVP to Lorna Kearney 768 368 or 07797 772 593.
The following people will be speaking: Mike Cutland Chair of JDVF, the Bailiff, Patron of JDVF and Lorna Kearney, Jersey Women's Refuge.

Jazz Factor the Final will see the final four Jazz Factor competitors sing it out for their chance to win a trip to London and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. After weeks of hard work from the band and competitors, the finale takes place at The Opera House on Sunday 29th November 2009. All proceeds will be split between Jersey Women's Refuge and Jersey Hospice Care.


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