Updated: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 6:20am

'Give them the power they've lost': GMP launch domestic abuse scratch card campaign

'Give them the power they've lost': GMP launch domestic abuse scratch card campaign

| By Mason Jones

Greater Manchester Police are now giving out advice disguised as scratch cards to victims of domestic abuse.

The police hope that the subtle approach may encourage more people to seek help if they are being controlled by a partner.

The SCRATCH campaign comes after a new legislation means that psychological bullying and coercive behaviour can now lead to a five year jail sentence.

The cards, once scratched, highlight several key signs of an abusive relationship.

Along with the scratch cards, which will be given out by officers when visiting domestic disputes, a lip-gloss has also been produced.

When opened, the lip-gloss packaging will also list forms of psychological abuse.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicky Porter told MM: “This is a key piece of legislation for us in terms of policing because previously when we’ve policed domestic abuse it’s been about acts like assaults or criminal damage.

“It’s not just the acts that perpetrators commit, but also their behaviour that can be really destructive.

“What we’re saying today is that if someone is controlling you, putting you down and it’s affecting you emotionally and psychologically, there is something we can do and now there’s some legislation that can back that up.”

Bunmi Abdulrauf, from Manchester’s Women’s Aid, believes the new campaign could also be used to impact abusers.

“Doing something like this is the best way to educate the public and sensitise them into have a rethink on what they are doing or maybe what they see happening to a friend or family member," she said.

Bumni added that the new law is already allowing the organisation to help people escape abusive behaviour.

“Since the introduction of the legislation in December, we have been supporting victims in putting together the evidence that they need if they want to go down the path of prosecution," she said.

“So rather than people just saying she or he loves me, they will now be able to say that this is not how it’s meant to be. I should have the right to wear what I want to wear or go where or I want to go.

“We can signpost them to legal advice and give them the power that they’ve lost to get back on track with their life.”

Earlier this month, GMP officers arrested 80 people for a range of offences as part of a regional anti-domestic abuse operation.

For more information on the SCRATCH campaign click here.