People in St Helens are being encouraged to be lovers, not fighters as part of a large anti domestic abuse campaign.
St Helens Council is supporting Be a Lover not a Fighter, which is running across areas in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire in a bid to encourage people to talk about the problem and be aware of what they should do to help if someone is experiencing domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse has significant psychological consequences for everyone involved, especially children. More needs to be achievedCoun Jeanie Bell
The campaign asks people to wear the Be a Lover not a Fighter badge and to offer another to a friend or family member.
This year – the second year of the campaign – the initiative is focusing on children, as a staggering 90 per cent of domestic abuse is witnessed by children.
Run by public health partners, Be a Lover not a Fighter will be seen across seven local authorities in Cheshire and Merseyside areas and across Lancashire, building on the work first delivered by the Cheshire and
Merseyside Public Health Collaborative (Champs).
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health for St Helens Council said: “We need to challenge the normality of domestic abuse. This campaign aims to break down those boundaries and stop domestic abuse being a hidden issue
in communities, supporting other locally focused work on domestic abuse in St Helens.
“Domestic abuse is about more than physical violence. For children that witness domestic abuse, the impacts on behaviour and educational achievement as well as physical and mental health are huge in both the long and short- term, increasing the risk of suicide and self-harm.”
Coun Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Domestic abuse has significant psychological consequences for everyone involved, especially children. More needs to be achieved and we are working in partnership to respond to this need.
“Creating an environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less will help support our local work and we want to encourage people to pledge their support.”
One in three women and one in six men have suffered domestic abuse, with two women killed every week and two men killed every month in the UK by their partners. About half of violent relationships involve violence by both partners.
Celebrities including DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles, Superbike World Champion Carl Fogarty, Shameless star Karen Bryson, Dancing on Ice star Dan Whiston, Benidorm’s Crissy Rock, and singer Russell Watson have all offered support for the campaign.
As part of the campaign, face to face engagement events will be held across Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire.
In St Helens, residents will be able pledge their support, and access information and advice about domestic abuse and the support services available locally at a pop-up stall in the Hardshaw Shopping Centre, on
For more information, where the engagement events are being held, or to find out how to pledge support go to www.lovernotfighter.org.uk.