Greater Manchester is being encouraged to get comfortable talking about domestic abuse with the launch of a ground-breaking campaign.
The ‘Sitting Right With You’ campaign features imagery of a yellow sofa accompanied by challenging messages to get people thinking differently about what domestic abuse is and encouraging victims to take that first step and ask for help.
One in three women and one in six men experience some form of domestic abuse, but it isn’t only physical violence. Controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go, who they talk to is just as damaging and is abuse.
Messages including ‘he checks my phone all the time’, ‘she has control over my bank accounts’, and ‘I can go out with friends when he says it’s ok’, encourage people to think and look differently about what makes a healthy relationship.
When people think of abuse, they imagine a kick or a punch, but often it’s more complicated than that. Is it ok that someone’s partner constantly belittles them, isolates them from family and friends, or threatens to take their children away?
Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families –tragically sometimes taking a life. With this campaign we want to empower people to take a hard look at their own or a loved one’s relationship and, if it doesn’t sit right with you, make that first step to get advice and support.”
Assistant Chief Constable at GMP, Debbie Ford, said: “We work hard all year round tackling domestic abuse and raising awareness of the help that people can access for themselves or someone that they know. By challenging people’s perceptions of domestic abuse and encouraging people to talk about it, like this campaign does, we hope to end the fear of domestic abuse.
“Over the last month we have renewed our commitment to tackling domestic abuse with Operation Scratch – a month of action aimed at finding people wanted for domestic abuse offences, educating people on coercive and controlling behaviour and encouraging people to come forward. As a result of this we arrested over 700 people over four weeks. This, along with the work that we do with partners, shows how seriously we take these horrific offences.”
Lisa Clover, Centre Coordinator, Wythenshawe Safespots, said: “I’m really pleased to see such an innovative, eye catching campaign which pushes people to think about their own situations. This campaign will get people talking about domestic abuse, challenging people to reflect and recognise the signs of an unhealthy relationship. It is great to see the campaign is aimed at no particular gender, ethnicity, sexuality or background reinforcing that domestic abuse can happen to anyone.”
The yellow sofa will be travelling around Greater Manchester over the next few weeks, encouraging local people to talk about domestic abuse and get help and support if they need it.
Follow the conversation at #SittingRightWithYou or visit www.sittingrightwithyou.co.uk to find out more.
If you or someone you care about has been affected by domestic abuse, contact the Greater Manchester domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525.