New domestic abuse campaign urges Barnsley residents to speak up

A new campaign has been launched today, encouraging Barnsley residents to speak up about domestic abuse.
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Barnsley Council, in conjunction with the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and the Independent Domestic Abuse Service hope to prevent domestic abuse and encourage healthy relationships through the Speak Up campaign.

A new campaign poster was unveiled at the Library at the Lightbox today (April 8) encouraging people to contact the IDAS helpline if they are experiencing abuse.

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Maisie Argyle, from IDAS, said referrals to the service spiked in lockdown, but have not yet fallen to pre-lockdown levels.

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“We massively had an increase during Covid, but it’s not gone back down,” Ms Argyle told the local democracy reporting service.

“Our helpline calls have increased – it’s amazing that people are coming forward and accessing support.”

Ms Argyle says she has noticed an increase in people experiencing issues with trackable technology.

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“When people are having these confidential conversations, they might believe that someone is not in the home physically, but they could be at work and they could click a button and be listening in to every single conversation they’re having.

“That is something definitely that I have noticed in my work personally that is on the rise and is causing a lot of additional issues that not a lot of people consider either.

“A lot of people still think that domestic abuse is physical. It’s not, there’s all these elements in there as well.

"Anyone can contact us for advice through the helpline, it’s free to call, we’re available seven days a week.

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"Find a safe space to talk about it, we can explore everything in that one call.”

Rosemary Clewer, senior commissioning manager at BMBC added: "We've got the new domestic abuse act, which empowers us as a local council to promote domestic abuse services to ensure that members of the community who are experiencing domestic abuse, whatever that might be - from the extreme end to violence and harm, to the most subtle financial abuse -that people can seek help.

"The services that we commission have gone from strength to strength, and we have a perfect partnership with them, you ca make a phone call or a friend or neighbour can make a phone call and they will get back to you and talk to you in a confidential way.

"I think some people think that fireworks are going go off and explosions are going happen, but it happens more subtly than that and they will help you work out the best way out of that disruptive relationship.

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"We've got a refuge here, which is an eight bed sit unit, and we're trying to increase that portfolio of properties to include ordinary housing, where you want to hang a hanging basket.

"We want something a little bit nicer, because people deserve to have something more like home.”

If you or anyone you know is suffering from any form of domestic abuse, please contact IDAS on 03000 110 110.

Email [email protected] or access a live webchat here.