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Met campaign launched to encourage domestic abuse victims to seek help in London

The Metropolitan Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence and support those suffering due to an abusive relationship.

The force has released two videos that capture the experience of domestic abuse victims, showing them being stalked by their partner and serving as a reminder victims experience emotional damage.

They deliver a message of “you’re not alone” and encourage people to tell someone what they’re going through.

Video: Metropolitan Police

The videos will be played in GP surgeries across London.

Zena, who in 2016 was assaulted by her ex-husband and has watched the two videos, said: “It’s good to put out a message that domestic abuse is more than just physical abuse; in my experience the controlling and following was the worst. People may not realise that messaging and turning up unannounced is abuse so I think it’s great that the police are sending the message that abuse isn’t just physical.

“I think showing this in doctors’ surgeries is an especially great idea. Sometimes I sat there and wanted to cry and hoped that people would just ask the right questions. Seeing the woman in the video break down is what got me. Anything the police do to raise awareness is positive.

“I suffered domestic abuse for a long time and I only realised it through the experiences of others. The best thing I ever did was report it to police after I left an abusive relationship. It has taken me a long time to get back to a good place.”

Video: Metropolitan Police

The campaign coincides with 16 days of focused activity around domestic abuse which commenced on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Sunday 25 November.

The videos are being supported by Women’s Aid, Refuge, NHS England and the London Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “From our work with survivors, we know that for many women their doctor’s surgery or hospital might be the only place where they are alone and feel safe enough to disclose their experience of domestic abuse, especially coercive and controlling behaviour. Health professionals, like GP’s or nurses, can play a huge role in ensuring that survivors get the support they need to escape this form of abuse.”

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vandenbergh, who came up with the idea to create the videos, said: “I hope these videos strike a chord with those who might be experiencing domestic abuse, and encourage them to come forward and report it so they can be fully supported.”

In an emergency you can contact police by calling 999 or in a non-emergency you can call 101. 

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