Volunteers needed to provide ‘help on the high street’ to support victims of domestic abuse
02nd December 2021
An urgent appeal has been made for high street shops and businesses in Three Rivers to join a growing ‘network of eyes and ears’ supporting victims of domestic abuse.
The J9 Domestic Abuse campaign helps domestic abuse survivors access support safely by training professionals and members of the community to recognise domestic abuse and help survivors. The campaign is sponsored by MCP Property Services, maintenance contractor for local housing association Thrive Homes.
Cllr Roger Seabourne, Three Rivers District Council’s Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships, said: “Domestic abuse can come in many forms, so it is vital to have people in the community who are aware and able to support those who may be living in fear and in need of urgent help. The J9 community champions can be anyone in everyday public-facing jobs who can keep a look out for people who need some support. You could be a hairdresser, estate agent or working on the tills at a supermarket. With a network of eyes and ears around Three Rivers, there's a better chance that no-one has to suffer in silence.”
The initiative is run in collaboration with charities Hertfordshire Sunflower and Safer Places.
Shops and businesses with J9 trained staff display a sunflower logo in the window to let survivors know that they have a safe place to access information and use a telephone to contact support services.
New community champions are provided with training so they know how to refer someone seeking help to the right place. The sponsorship from MCP Property Services helped fund information packs for the new volunteers.
Rosie Hughes of MCP Property Services (pictured) said: “We are delighted to provide J9 with the information packs. This continues many years of support for victims of domestic abuse in our communities.”
The appeal coincides with 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence - an annual international campaign that gets underway on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
For more information visit: https://www.hertssunflower.org/herts-sunflower.aspx
Cllr Alex Hayward – Leader of the Conservative Group
Cllr Joanna Clemens – Independent Councillors Group Joint Leader