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Domestic violence: what help is available?

This year, for Red Nose Day, local NHS services are supporting the charity to help victims of domestic abuse.

Red Nose Day takes place on March 24 and once every two years the well-known charity raises money for a number of projects across Africa and in England. For this year’s effort, there are several issues being focused on, including domestic violence in England.

In light of this, doctors at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG are advising local residents to speak up if they or someone they know are experiencing domestic violence. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse, in couple relationships or between families, are all examples of domestic violence.

Both women and men can be affected by domestic abuse and anybody can be an abuser. There is plenty of help available for those who need it and it is important to remember you’re not alone; there is always someone to talk to.

You can get help and support from a number of places:

· National Domestic Violence helpline (women only) 0808 2000 247, free 24-hour helpline run in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge.

· Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 (free, Monday to Friday) or Mankind on 01823 334 244

· If it is an emergency, you can call 999

· Talk to your GP

In addition to this, there is also The Survivor’s Handbook from the charity Women’s Aid, which provides information for women on a number of issues including, money, housing and helping your children. Men can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help from local places including health services and local organisations.

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair of the NHS East Lancashire CCG said: “Victims of domestic abuse often feel too scared to speak up and seek help because they fear the consequences of their partner finding out.

“Local NHS services are always available for confidential support and we would urge anyone who needs us to come and visit. Additionally, if you know a victim of domestic abuse, you can support them in their recovery by accompanying them to our services.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer of the NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said: “There are two 24-hour dedicated helplines, which will help you should you need them, women can call the National Domestic Violence helpline and men can call the Mankind or the Men’s Advice line for free.”

“If someone you know confides in you that they are suffering from abuse, you can support them by offering to go with them to the hospital or GP. If they have suffered physical harm, you can help them report the assault to the police.”

For more information on domestic violence and the services for victims of domestic violence, visit NHS Choices. You can also find out more information about the National Domestic Violence helpline and the Men’s Advice Line.