ANGUS Violence against Women Partnership (AVAWP) and the Focus on Alcohol Angus Project have developed a festive season poster campaign to promote safe, sensible drinking and provide details of the support available for anyone affected by domestic abuse.
The poster was launched on Thursday at the Aboukir, Carnoustie, which was the overall winner of this year’s Best Bar None Award, as part of the 16 Days of Action for the elimination of violence against women.
The key message is to have a great festive season and stay safe by drinking sensibly. Don’t let alcohol spoil the fun by drinking to excess and making you vulnerable or unwell
Regrettably, levels of domestic abuse increase at this time of year and alcohol is often a factor. While alcohol is no excuse and is never the direct cause of domestic abuse, it does make things much worse in terms of the levels of violence used by the perpetrator and the seriousness of any injuries sustained by the women involved.
There can also be a significant impact on children, who are often in the same room, or nearby when domestic abuse is taking place.
Dr Julia Egan, chair of the Angus Violence against Women Partnership stated: “There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for domestic abuse and that includes the use of alcohol. The perpetrator is always entirely responsible. It is never the victim’s fault.
“Although it’s obviously a season for families and fun, we do see increased levels of domestic abuse at this time of year and research has shown that the violence used is more likely to be at the severe end of the spectrum when the perpetrator consumes alcohol.”
She concluded: “That is why we are delighted to be working together with the Focus on Alcohol Project in helping to promote safe sensible drinking. We really just want everyone to drink sensibly, enjoy themselves and stay safe.”
Chief Superintendent Kevin Lynch said: “Alcohol can at times be used as convenient reasoning to justify an individual’s oppressive or aggressive behaviour towards women and this is simply not acceptable.
“Under no circumstances can alcohol be used as an excuse for any form of violence or abuse, particularly within a domestic situation. I fully support the launch today, which directly aligns to the objectives set out through the ongoing Operation Linchpin.
“Operation Linchpin directly targets the issue of violence and abuse in the home and we must do all we can to better protect and support the victims of domestic violence or abuse, and reduce the harm it causes to vulnerable members of the community in Angus.”
If you are affected by domestic abuse there are options and local organisations that can help. For more information you can call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234.