Don't suffer in silence

A new radio advertising campaign, backed by St.Helens Council, dramatically underlines the emotional, seasonal impact of domestic violence.

It features a young boy writing a letter to his dead mother - killed during an attack by his father.

The poignant message aims to reinforce the far-reaching effects of domestic violence - often thrown into sharp focus at this time of year.

Listen to the campaign at

Cabinet Member for Family Intervention and Safer Communities, Councillor Sue Murphy said: "The Safer Communities Partnership is encouraging victims of domestic violence to come forward over the Christmas period.

"It's a time when victims are often reluctant to do so, but this radio campaign shows the effect it can have on the family and children, and hopefully encourages female victims to report the crime."

Detective Inspector Lee Stinchcombe said: "Clearly domestic violence and abuse has a massive impact on the whole family, not just the victim and perpetrator. Children are left particularly vulnerable and this can have a significant impact on their future life chances, behaviour and wellbeing. I would appeal for all victims to come forward and report these matters."

Sharon MacKenzie, Service Manager for Vulnerable People at Helena Extra, said: "We know Christmas can be a difficult time and urge anyone affected by domestic violence to seek support.

"The Helena Extra Domestic Violence Helpline is open 24 hours a day and we can provide advice to victims of domestic violence, or those who fear a friend or relative may be affected, regardless of whether they are a Helena tenant or not. 

"If a situation becomes life threatening, please don't hesitate to call 999."

The campaign also features posters - which will be distributed to doctors' surgeries and other locations, and will also culminate with an art exhibition at Mash Art CafĂ©, Haydock Street, St.Helens, from 19 January to 30 February. The exhibition will feature the artwork of graphic design students from the University of Bolton, who contacted the Council, offering their free design services as part of their coursework.

Across the UK at least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence in their own homes.

Need help? Call Helena Extra's 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 01925 220541.

For help or advice contact the Independent Domestic Violence Advocate on 01744 743 200