Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta offered a moving victim’s perspective as Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership launched its new Domestic Abuse Strategy at Number One Riverside on Wednesday.
Rowetta has spoken on behalf of campaigns tackling the issue since 2004, when details of her own experiences of domestic abuse were published in a national newspaper.
Rowetta said: “I’m still quite fearful even today. When I left home I left my life behind because I had to. The police helped me and they got me into a women’s refuge. The message is there’s an end to this and there’s an answer as long as the victims can be strong.”
The launch showcased the strategy’s mission to protect victims and their families, as well as tackle and prevent crimes and bring perpetrators to justice.
New campaign artwork was unveiled and a powerful online advert produced by the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership was premiered.
Rowetta was joined at the launch by Rochdale Borough Council Chief Executive Jim Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive Linda Fisher, Council Leader Councillor Colin Lambert, Cabinet Member for Strengthening Communities Councillor Sultan Ali, Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd, Superintendent Allistair Mallen and Victim Support Senior Service Delivery Manager Ruth Wilson.
Tony Lloyd said:
“In November last year, I called on communities throughout Greater Manchester to stand together to help stamp out domestic violence. Since that time, organisations such as Victim Support, individuals such as Rowetta and councils such as Rochdale have been instrumental in helping to spread the message that domestic violence is never ok. The service we rolled out in Rochdale throughout the year has been providing a vital lifeline for those victims who need it most.
“There is still a lot of work to do, we must continue to ensure that victims of domestic violence do not suffer in silence, and have access to the invaluable support services available for all of those suffering unfairly at the hands of the perpetrators.
“Together with Victim Support and Rochdale Council, I am calling on everyone – police, CPS, courts, councils, victim services – to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, and make a renewed commitment to the campaign to eliminate domestic violence in the region. We simply cannot accept that there are still individuals in our area suffering at the hands of their partners. Today we make a renewed commitment towards ensuring everyone has the right to live a happy, fulfilled life.” Tony Lloyd
Councillor Lambert said: “Domestic abuse impacts on every member of every family where it occurs.
“Our children deserve to grow up innocent and if domestic abuse is happening in their home, or around them, then that innocence is removed. Let’s provide a service to remove that fear of domestic abuse.”
Also in attendance were members of Rochdale Borough Council’s Active Citizens programme and representatives from the Rochdale Council of Mosques.
The Partnership is supporting the Greater Manchester-wide End the Fear campaign. Victims or concerned family members or friends are being urged to seek support and advice by calling the domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525 or online at www.endthefear.co.uk
Watch the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnerships new EndTheFear video: http://youtu.be/4se-MZFQ73o
Image: Happy Mondays’ Rowetta.