On Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2016, Harrogate and York, respectively, will see dancers take over city centres. This is in a bid to draw attention to the everyday reality of domestic abuse experienced by thousands of people across the county.
- Victoria Shopping Centre (opposite train station), Harrogate Saturday 19 March 14.00
- Parliament Square, York Sunday 20 March 15.30
It is hoped that the Flash-Mobs will help to break down some of the barriers to reporting as well as the stigma that many people affected by domestic abuse experience, therefore bringing the issues out into the open.
In York on Sunday, close to 100 dancers plan to perform an upbeat, theatrical medley in Parliament Square.
Many will also descend on the Terrace outside the Victoria Shopping Centre in Harrogate on Saturday.
On Sunday 13th March, dancers performed in Scarborough to a thrilled crowd of people who were given leaflets with information about local domestic abuse services. The message is clear: whilst we all go about our daily lives there is someone we know living with domestic abuse.
Carmel Offord from IDAS said:
We are pleased to be working with PQA in Scarborough, Harrogate & York to raise awareness of domestic abuse. The performances are designed to be engaging and will help us to bring an often hidden topic to the fore in an accessible way. Many people feel that they cannot talk about or report the abuse that they are experiencing, but we would encourage anyone affected by domestic abuse to come forward and speak to us in confidence. There is support out there and you can move on from domestic abuse. The students at the performing arts academies have been practising for weeks and we are excited to see their performances and the reaction on the streets.
IDAS are currently running an awareness raising campaign, funded by the North Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner, with the aim of encouraging more people to refer themselves into IDAS for support and advice. The campaign asserts that anybody can be affected by domestic abuse and that people from all walks of life are impacted, including: men; people in same-sex relationships; young people, and children. Often, people affected by domestic abuse are hidden in plain sight in our communities; the campaign seeks to reach out to them and help them to get the support that they need.
In 2015, IDAS received over 1150 referrals into its services for people affected by domestic abuse in the York area. Over 3500 referrals were taken from across the county and over 100 people were provided with refuge accommodation. North Yorkshire Police reported that incidents of domestic abuse increased last year with over 9000 reported to them.
If you, or anyone you know, is affected by domestic abuse, you can call the 24 hour helpline 03000 110 110 or visit www.idas.org.uk