Mending Broken Hearts At Christmas

Report by Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Five Year Street Improvements Plan Announced

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Council and Police launch domestic violence campaign

With domestic violence levels rising over the Christmas and New Year period, Hounslow Council and the police have teamed up to launch a campaign on posters and Christmas cards to remind victims that help is at hand.

Over the past two years in Hounslow, domestic violence has risen over the Christmas holiday period. Between November and December in 2010 and 2011, reports of incidents increased by 3%.

The council-run refuges see an estimated 315 women and children every year, many are very badly injured and all are traumatised.

Chiswick was the first place in the Borough to run a refuge for victims of domestic violence and the work started by Erin Pizzey is continuing there with support from the Council.

The poster campaign – entitled Don’t break a heart this Christmas – will be launched at the Civic Centre on Friday (23 November) by leading councillors and police officers.

It also coincides with the 16 Days of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women which takes place every year from the 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day).

Councillor Sue Sampson, cabinet member for performance and customer care who is supporting the campaign, lost her sister to domestic violence 36 years ago.

She said: “I would not want anyone to have to experience what my family and I experienced. Happily times have changed and now there is more help available. I hope this campaign, through Christmas cards and posters, raises awareness of the help available and that anyone experiencing domestic violence knows they are now alone and that help is at hand.”

Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Hounslow has a long association with helping the victims of domestic violence. No-one should have to suffer in silence and there are a host of agencies which can offer help and support.”

Chief Inspector Rob Wilson of Hounslow Police said: “We take domestic violence crime very seriously and we will take every possible action against those committing this crime. The message is simple – if you are experiencing domestic violence, get in touch.”

Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge said: “Refuge is proud to be running domestic violence services in the Hounslow borough - what started as the world's first refuge in Chiswick 41 years ago now stretches to hundreds of services which operate across the country. 

“The Hounslow services that Refuge runs support around 315 women and children every year - half of whom turn to us after having been seriously injured, all of whom have been traumatised.  Yet when the women and children leave our service they tell us that for the first time they feel safe and that they feel ready to rebuild their lives free from violence.

“With one woman in four experiencing domestic violence in her life and up to two women being killed every week in this country by a current or former partner Refuge's services are in high demand.  We would like to thank Hounslow Council for its ongoing commitment to supporting domestic violence services - together we are making a vital life saving and life changing difference to hundreds of women and children in the borough.”

Christmas cards carrying the campaign message will be on sale at the Civic Centre main reception, price 50p, on 28th November and 5th December in between 12pm and 2pm.

Key Domestic Violence helpline numbers and websites:

Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Refuge and Women's Aid) and




November 20, 2012