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Campaign challenging myths about domestic abuse reaches more than 1,200 Gloucestershire toilets

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A campaign aimed at raising awareness about domestic abuse in Gloucestershire has placed more than 1,200 posters in toilets across the county. 

Last month, Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) launched their ‘Flushing Away the Myths about domestic abuse’ campaign to challenge common misconceptions about domestic abuse and promote their services. 

Since then, more than 1,200 posters tackling one of the most enduring myths about domestic abuse have been placed in bathrooms across Gloucestershire. The messaging on the poster explains some of the complex reasons why people stay in abusive relationships and signposts toward further information and where to find help.

A huge variety of organisations have got behind the campaign including Gloucestershire Constabulary, GE Aviation, Cheltenham Football Club, Gloucestershire County Council as well as pubs and gyms across the county. 

Tessa Davies, GDASS Service Manager said: “Just a few weeks ago we launched an innovative campaign to help tackle the misconceptions around domestic abuse. We have been blown away by the support for the campaign with local employers, sports clubs, local authorities, and others requesting our posters and spreading the message on social media. 

“It is vital that we continue to challenge the myths around domestic abuse because they aren’t just unhelpful, they could be dangerous if they delay or even prevent someone from reaching out for help.

“Please get in touch if your organisation is able to support the campaign by displaying our poster.”

The locations of the posters were chosen because for someone experiencing domestic abuse going to the toilet might be one of the few when occasions they can check their phone without being monitored. The posters contain a QR code which links to information and support on the GDASS website. 

As part of the campaign, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Gloucestershire have created a survey to gain an insight into the lived experience of domestic abuse across the county.

It is hoped the survey reaches a broad range of people from different communities so we can understand individual need.  The information gathered will help the police and their partner organisations improve accessibility and reduce barriers to receiving support for those experiencing, and the survivors of, domestic abuse.

The OPCC’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategic Co-Ordinator, Sophie Jarrett, said: “Overall, we recognise that people who use our local services are not necessarily representative of the range of people who might be suffering, and many people may, therefore, not know where to go for help. 

“Through our survey, we want to understand the experience of all victims and survivors of domestic abuse better; no matter their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, economic circumstances, or background, to ensure we can use this to influence the help that can be provided locally, and to highlight the support that already exists across the county.  

“Hopefully, the information we gather will help the police and their partner organisations improve accessibility and break down barriers that will lead to people suffering domestic abuse receiving the support they need to break the cycle.

“That is why we want to reach as broad a range of people as possible, from many different communities, so that we can understand individual needs”. 

GDASS is run by housing and care provider GreenSquareAccord and is commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council, with support from the county’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

GDASS provides support to women and men aged 16+ who are victims of domestic abuse.

More information on GDASS’ ‘Flushing away the myths’ campaign can be found here 

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