Croydon Council has launched a campaign in its 123 primary and secondary schools aimed at parents who might be victims of domestic abuse.
Each school is being asked to display posters which highlight the fact the school is a safe space where victims can get help by talking to a member of staff and making a phone call to the Croydon FJC (formerly Family Justice Centre) or the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.
During the first lockdown Croydon experienced a 20% increase in domestic abuse incidents and was the worst London borough for offences and incidents over the lockdown period.
Ciara Goodwin, the council’s domestic abuse and sexual violence co-ordinator, says that,
“A safe space is where a victim can access help and support without fear of further abuse. Many schools already offer this support but we thought a campaign would be important to build awareness and remind victims of what help is available.
“Doing the school run might be one of the very few times victims are able to leave their home without the perpetrator. Schools are open during this lockdown so we thought it a good time to start it now and we hope to make this campaign a permanent fixture in Croydon.”
Abuse victims are often monitored by the perpetrator and are expected to return within a certain time, so schools will also be provided with small cards which the victim could take with them and call one of the helplines at a later opportunity.
I hope that this will provide a route to safety for those who need to talk about their situation.
The FJC can also be contacted on: 020 8688 0100