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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 11:15 GMT
Campaign targets domestic abuse
Advert
Helpline calls increase over the festive period
A campaign highlighting the emotional impact of domestic abuse is to run over the festive period in Scotland.

Radio adverts will show the trauma experienced by a woman in an abusive relationship and feature a helpline worker awaiting a call.

The Behind Closed Doors adverts shown on television in 2001 will be re-run from Boxing Day until February.

The campaign will aim to highlight the help and support which is available to those suffering domestic abuse.

Adverts will also appear in national and local newspapers.

The Scottish Executive traditionally launches the campaign over the festive period because it is the time when police and Women's Aid groups report an increase in complaints.

Calls to the domestic abuse helpline which operates round the clock, seven days a week, increase dramatically over Christmas and new year.

We have to reach anyone suffering abuse to tell them help is available
Malcolm Chisholm
Communities Minister
During 2003 the helpline, which can be contacted on 0800 027 1234, received more than 15,000 calls.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "This campaign is an important part of our work and it's vital that we continue to challenge and overcome the acceptance of abuse.

"Perpetrators need to know that society will not accept their behaviour.

"We have to reach anyone suffering abuse to tell them help is available - whether it is support from the helpline, a place in refuge or help from Women's Aid and the police."

Domestic abuse helpline volunteer Kate McLaughlin said the role was is very important to her.

We hope many women will hear or see this year's advertisements and take the first steps to building a new life
Mary Lockhart
Scottish Women's Aid
"It means I can offer support to women who are in the position I was in many years ago," she said.

"As a survivor of domestic abuse when there was no helpline, I know that the service it offers is a vital resource for women in these circumstances by providing confidential information, support and a listening ear."

Mary Lockhart of Scottish Women's Aid said: "During the festive season last year, hundreds of women telephoned the helpline or contacted Women's Aid in response to the campaign.

"Christmas is a time of hope, and new year gives the chance of a fresh start.

"We hope many women will hear or see this year's advertisements and take the first steps to building a new life free from fear, free from the blight of domestic abuse and free to enjoy many happy Christmases in the years to come."


SEE ALSO:
Legal move to help abuse victims
24 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Funding support for abuse victims
27 Oct 04 |  Scotland
New approach to domestic abuse
14 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Abuse helpline becomes permanent
08 Jul 04 |  Scotland
Plea for domestic abuse victims
24 Jun 04 |  Scotland


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