#IAMHERE campaign to end domestic abuse in Burnley and beyond

A local domestic abuse support service has launched a powerful campaign raising awareness of the impact domestic abuse has on children and young people.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:28 pm

Throughout the #IAMHERE campaign, SafeNet will share children and young people’s stories to ensure they have a voice with which to influence local and national responses to domestic abuse. Ultimately, SafeNet wants to highlight the need for services to be developed that pro-actively work to create long lasting change.

While making up almost half of those living in refuge, there is currently no dedicated national or statutory funding in place to support children and young people.

“Helen Gauder, from SafeNet, said: "Children living in abusive households do not only witness violence, they live it and carry the lifelong effects. Despite this, children are not always seen, or their voices heard in domestic abuse. With #IAMHERE, we want to give a voice to children and young people and shine a light on their journey.

"We want to raise awareness of how domestic abuse affects children and young people and the importance of additional funding to help address core beliefs about gender roles.

"Investment in preventative work will change societies future behaviours; working to address core beliefs about gender roles. Investing in education can help change the set of beliefs that say it is ok to carry out domestic abuse.”

Last year, 228 children were admitted into SafeNet’s refuge network, representing a staggering 45% of all those sheltered in 2020. However, without dedicated funding, the service was unable to accommodate 484 children and young people last year with refuges and support services at capacity.

The introduction of the 2021 Domestic Abuse Bill, currently undergoing House of Lords review, will finally see children recognised as victims/survivors of domestic abuse for the first time. In doing so, this will create the first ever statutory funding stream for children and young people.

Funded by local authorities, the Domestic Abuse Bill aims to ensure victims and their children can access safe accommodation and the support needed to recover and rebuild their lives.

In the absence of dedicated funds and with a 60% reduction in donations due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, SafeNet are hoping to raise additional funds to help improve and expand the support on offer for children and young people.

All money raised will be used to support the children and young people across SafeNet’s services. From essential supplies such as clothes and toiletries to accommodation for a pet, donations will help provide children with a safe, stable and comforting environment as they are supported to overcome the challenges they have faced.

Other organisations, businesses and services are encouraged to lend their support to the campaign through use of the dedicated #IAMHERE hashtag and downloadable resources available from the SafeNet website.

Calico's Anthony Duerden said: “As the chief executive of the Calico Group, a White Ribbon ambassador and a father, I’m incredibly proud to offer my support to SafeNet’s #IAMHERE campaign. Raising awareness of the impact domestic abuse has on children and young people and ensuring they have a voice to affect real change feels more vital now than ever before.

"I am incredibly grateful to SafeNet for sharing their expertise and empowering us as a Group to get behind the campaign.”