Two members of staff from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust organised a special day of events today (Monday 14 April 2014) to help tackle domestic abuse and raise the profile of services available to those affected.
The event included a balloon of 104 purple and 17 green balloons which signifies the 104 women and 17 men who die each year as a result of domestic abuse. 14 April was chosen as it is the 104th day of the year, equal to the number of women who die each year as a result of domestic abuse.
The awareness raising day is being backed by the healthcare Trust and the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS, formerly the Harrogate Women’s Refuge) with a display and information at Harrogate District Hospital about domestic abuse and how to access support and advice.
Caroline Bolton and Tracy Burdett, who had the idea for the awareness raising day and organised it in their spare time, said: We would like to thank everyone who has kindly sponsored a balloon or donated to our raffle and cake stall. The kindness and generosity that these people have shown has gone a long way in fighting to show the seriousness of domestic abuse and how, together, we can make a difference to the lives and families of people affected by this crime.
Janet Farnhill, Senior Nurse for Adult Safeguarding at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: Domestic abuse can affect anyone so at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust we are very happy to support our colleagues and have developed a new Domestic Abuse policy and information for staff which will also be launched on this day.
We hope that the balloon launch will be a very visibe reminder of the real human cost of domestic abuse for both women and men and that help is available to people if they need it.
During 2013 the police in Harrogate dealt with over 1500 reports of domestic violence and many more cases are never reported.
Sarah Hill, Director of the local domestic abuse charity, IDAS said: We are really pleased that Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust is working so well to raise awareness. Last year alone we accommodated over 30 families in the women’s refuge in Harrogate and supported nearly 400 people living locally. Domestic abuse has a huge impact on people’s health, finances, housing status and on their emotional well-being and yet, it is still a largely hidden problem.
For further information see www.idas.org.uk