A woman who was subjected to years of abuse from her partner and fled Manchester has returned to bravely promote the Love Shouldn’t Hurt This Valentine’s Day campaign.
The woman, who moved with her three children to a women’s refuge elsewhere in the country, is now urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence this Valentine’s Day.
The victim is trying to make people aware that help is available to them and says the number of issues of this kind is inflated on February 14.
She said: “Women are being emotionally manipulated – they’re getting the psychological abuse of being beaten and then being given a gift, so they’re being made to think he still loves them.”
The woman suggested sufferers could be keeping quiet because they are being manipulated by their partner or they don’t trust the authorities to deal with the problem.
“If they don’t want to call the police themselves they should call a friend who could do it on their behalf, or get in touch with an organisation which helps women in that situation,” she urged.
Councillor Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s lead member for women’s issues, supported the victim’s thoughts and stressed that help is in abundance from a number of organisations for sufferers.
“Domestic abuse victims often suffer in silence and at a time of year when relationships are often thrown into the spotlight it’s important that people are aware that there is support out there for them,” she said.
“Help is available for victims, either directly through Greater Manchester Police or through the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline, who can direct victims on to other relevant agencies.”
Detective Superintendent Phil Owen said: “Domestic abuse is a serious issue that can affect anyone regardless of age or gender and we hope this campaign will channel support to those at risk. A home is a safe haven for most, but for others it is a place of heightened fear and threat.
“We hope that the Love Shouldn’t Hurt This Valentine’s Day campaign will offer victims reassurance that there is help and support out there, whilst also raising awareness about an issue which often goes unnoticed.
As part of the campaign, Greater Manchester Police is working with the End the Fear Campaign and the Greater Manchester Public Health Network to encourage victims to come forward.
Last year’s campaign saw stars of the TV show Strictly Come Dancing team up with a young girl who suffered from domestic abuse to help promote awareness of the issue and support the initiative.
Greater Manchester Police has specialist domestic abuse investigators that are available all year round to provide support.
For advice contact Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline, Monday to Friday, on 0161 6367525.