No excuse for domestic abuse this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day Tower Hamlets Council is working with young people as part of a renewed call for the eradication of violence against women and girls focusing on preventing violence in the future.
Council officers will be running workshops in schools, youth centres and other youth focussed settings to help young people recognise the signs of abuse and know how to access support if they experience domestic abuse themselves.
They will also be encouraged to sign a pledge to never ignore and never condone abuse amongst their peers and to promise to never abuse others.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “Community safety, including tackling domestic violence, is one of my top priorities.
“We often forget that these crimes and forms of abuse don’t just happen to adults. Young people are just as likely to find themselves trapped in damaging and abusive relationships.
“This Valentine’s Day I want to remind residents of the support available for victims of domestic violence – whether they are young or old, female or male.”
Cllr Ohid Ahmed, Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We are continuing our work to educate the community to recognise and prevent abuse.
“Valentine’s Day is presented as a day of romance and love, but in abusive relationships, romance and ‘love’ can be used as excuses for controlling behaviour and even violence.
“By joining together as a community we can protect the lives of young people in Tower Hamlets, and stop violence in the future.”
Research over the past 5 years has shown that young people experience abuse as much as adult victims but the abuse is often minimised due to their lack of experience in relationships. In fact, emotional abuse is experienced by up to three quarters of young people and physical abuse by over a quarter of young women.
Domestic abuse, whilst often considered to only include physical abuse, can include a person using threatening and coercive behaviour towards their partner, sexual abuse, preventing their partner from seeing or contacting friends or managing their own finances, or humiliating their partner in front of other people.
Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health, said: “Domestic abuse has a serious and long standing impact on mental and physical health. This Valentine’s Day let’s work together to end violence against women and improve health and wellbeing in our community.”
This list may help you to identify whether you are experiencing domestic violence:
Are you afraid of your boyfriend/girlfriend or a family member?
Do you feel isolated? Do they cut you off from family and friends?
Does your boyfriend/girlfriend family try and control who you are allowed to see?
Are they jealous and possessive?
Do they humiliate or insult you?
Do they force you into sexual acts when you don’t want to?
Do they verbally abuse you?
Do they say you are useless and couldn’t cope without them?
Do they physically hurt you? Do they shove, slap, punch or kick you?
Have they threatened to hurt you or people close to you?
Do they constantly criticise you?
Do they control your money?
Do you change your behaviour to try and stop them attacking you?
Do you question what you think as a result of your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s
Do they threaten to harm or kill your pets?
Do they threaten to kidnap or get residency of your children?
Do they tell you what to wear or try and control your appearance?
Do they threaten to have your family take you abroad?
Are they constantly texting/calling or harassing you through social media?
Do they check up on where you are going or expect you to report to them?
If you, a friend or a family member are experiencing any of these issues you can get further information by contacting the Domestic Violence Team on 0800 279 5434 (from 9:00 am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday) or by email domesticviolence@towerhamlets.gov.uk. Help and Support can also be provided by Local and National Organisations whose information can be provided by the Domestic Violence Team. In an emergency, please call the Police on 999.

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