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Caithness News Bulletins August 2004

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Women's Aid Highland Council

Time to Open our Eyes to Domestic Abuse
The first in a series of three posters designed by Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust for the Wellbeing Alliance went on display today for the first time in Highland.

The poster aims to bring the problem of domestic abuse into the public domain and for individuals and agencies to question their attitudes towards it.

Zero Tolerance is a high profile organisation that has conducted hard hitting media campaigns across Scotland on the issue of male violence against women and children. Margaret McGregor, Chair of Zero Tolerance said, “We are delighted to be working in the Highlands with the Wellbeing Alliance. We hope the unrivalled success of Zero Tolerance in raising the public’s awareness of domestic abuse across other parts of Scotland is repeated here.”

The Chair of the Wellbeing Alliance Domestic Abuse Strategy Group, Councillor Ella MacRae said, “Zero Tolerance have vast experience in educating the public about domestic abuse and they were an obvious choice in guiding the Highland campaign. Domestic abuse cannot be viewed as “just a domestic” when two women every week die in the UK at the hands of their partner or ex-partner.”

The “Unseen, Unheard, Unspoken” poster highlights the secret nature of domestic abuse. Gillian Gunn, Domestic Abuse Campaign Co-ordinator for the Highland Wellbeing Alliance said, “Very often women experiencing domestic abuse hide it from friends and family because they are ashamed or because the abuse could escalate if the perpetrator discovers they have told someone. Abusers can also be good at hiding what they are doing and can appear charming, plausible characters to people outside the relationship.”

1 in 5 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (and 1 in 10 will experience it this year), Scottish Crime Survey 2002.

The Highland Wellbeing Alliance is a partnership organisation between the Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, NHS Highland, HIE, SNH, Communities Scotland, Highlands & Islands Fire Brigade and the business and voluntary sectors.

Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust was established in 1995.

The posters have been distributed to churches, post offices, village halls, Community Councils and to all the Scottish Co-op shops in Highland. They will also be in police stations, schools, GP surgeries, hospitals, and in Highland Council offices.

The two remaining posters will be launched in early 2005 and summer 2005.

For More Information On the Campaign Ciontact
Gillian Gunn
Domestic Abuse Campaign Co-ordinator
Wellbeing Alliance
NHS Highland
Assynt House
Beechwood Business Park
Tel: 01463 704940
Fax: 01463 235189
Email: gillian.gunn@hhb.scot.nhs.uk

Abuse Help
Highland Domestic Abuse Forum
Rape & Abuse Line
Highland Domestic Abuse Strategy
Victim Support - Caithness
Womens Aid Outreach Service