Domestic violence awareness campaign comes to Liverpool

Nick Knowles backs 'Be a lover not a fighter campaign'

A regional campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence is coming to Liverpool on Thursday 25 February.

The ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ campaign has been developed by Public Health in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire and aims to encourage people to talk about domestic abuse and importantly, what they should do if someone is experiencing domestic abuse. About half of violent relationships involve violence by both partners and a staggering 90% of domestic abuse is witnessed by children. It builds on the work first delivered by the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative (Champs).

It is asking people to wear a special badge and offer another to a friend or family member in a bid to encourage them to talk about the problem and know what they should do to help if someone is experiencing domestic abuse.

On Thursday 25 February, representatives from the council’s communities team and public health will be on-hand at St Johns Shopping Centre in the city centre from 10am – 3pm to raise awareness of the campaign.

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Sue Murphy, will be dropping by the stand at 12 midday to give her backing to the project.

Cllr Murphy said: “It is really important to get the message out, loud and clear, that domestic abuse is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

“I’m delighted to be involved in and support the partnership approach we are taking through the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ campaign to raise awareness of this important issue.

“It is vital we end the days of domestic abuse being a taboo subject, a hidden issue within our communities, and make sure victims know there is no need to suffer in silence.”

Celebrities including DIY SOS and National Lottery presenter Nick Knowles are backing the campaign, which launched for the first time last year.

Matthew Ashton, Chair of Champs and the Director of Public Health spokesperson for the campaign said: “We have to make a stand against domestic abuse to show collectively that it is not acceptable.

“Nationally 750,000 children a year witness domestic abuse. By wearing the ‘Be a Lover not a Fighter’ badge and pledging support for the campaign we can hopefully make more people understand how domestic abuse has significant psychological consequences for everyone involved.

“It’s crucial we deliver this campaign to make people aware of the issue, what people are going through and how they can make a difference.”

As part of the discussion, videos of support with the celebrities showing ‘heart hands’ are being shared on social media for the public to join in with their own.

Further information about the campaign is also available at www.lovernotfighter.org.uk