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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 14:11 GMT
Abuse campaign puts on brave face
New campaign poster
The campaign uses "fake smiles" to highlight abuse
A television, radio and billboard advertising campaign to highlight the problem of domestic abuse has been unveiled by the Scottish Executive.

The 167,000 campaign emphasises how those experiencing domestic abuse often mask what is going on, putting on a "fake smile" or a "brave face".

It will run from Boxing Day until the end of January, a period which usually sees an increase in reported cases.

Last year, 46,000 cases of domestic abuse were reported in Scotland.

That was a rise of 2,000 on the previous year's figure.

Fake smiles and brave faces often hide the reality
Malcolm Chisholm
Communities Minister

The new campaign features a woman and child with exaggerated smiles.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "It saddens me that we still need a campaign to raise awareness of this issue and ensure people know where to turn for help.

"But while domestic abuse and violence against women continues in Scotland, we must continue to reach out to those affected and say loudly and clearly that there is no excuse for this and it will not be tolerated."

Mr Chisholm said last year's advertising campaign broke new ground by highlighting the impact of psychological abuse, often on children who witness the violence.

Calls increase

As a result, a telephone helpline received almost 3,600 calls - a 21% rise on the figure for the year before.

"Fake smiles and brave faces often hide the reality," the minister said.

"Most of us will have someone in our lives - a friend, a relative, a colleague - who day in, day out experiences domestic abuse and we must all do what we can to put an end to this."

The Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline number is 0800 027 1234.

The helpline is free, confidential, non-traceable and available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

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28 Sep 06 |  Scotland


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