The nominations are now open for the Bromley Mums Awards 2016, so please start sending in details of the mums you know who deserve recognition for their efforts. Being nominated for, and possibly winning, an award really means a lot to people. The awards ceremony, organised by Allsorts Parent and Toddler Group and Bromley Brighter Beginnings, will be held on 3rd March 2016 at Bromley Town Church and is being sponsored by intu Bromley and Boppin Tots. For more details, and to make your nominations, visit: www.bromleytownchurch.com/bromleymumsawards
At the awards ceremony, Bromley Brighter Beginnings will be launching a campaign which we are calling “Shine a Light”. In the weeks leading up to the awards ceremony, we will be highlighting several specific issues that we encounter regularly at BBB, and raising awareness about the reality of parenting for some women on your very doorstep. The first issue we are shining a light on is domestic abuse.
Shining a Light on Domestic Abuse
Around half of the women who are referred to Bromley Brighter Beginnings for help are survivors of domestic abuse: either living in one of Bromley’s six domestic violence refuges, or trying to get back on their feet in the local community after leaving the refuge system. Bromley Women’s Aid houses around 35 women and 55 children in Bromley at any one time, with additional support to other women through their outreach services.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse occurs when one person in an intimate relationship tries to dominate and control the other person. It occurs between heterosexual couples and same-sex couples, and between couples of any age, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels. It is more common for women to be the victims of domestic abuse, but this is not always the case. Abuse does not have to be violent; it can also be emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Just last month, a new crime of “controlling behaviour” was announced by the home secretary Theresa May; this new offence is intended to protect victims from extreme psychological and emotional abuse and will carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine.
Some facts about domestic abuse (from the Refuge website):
* 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales by a partner or former partner;
* On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police;
* 25% of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse;
* In 90% of domestic violence incidents in family households, children were in the same or the next room;
* 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed;
* 30% of domestic violence either starts or will intensify during pregnancy;
* Foetal morbidity from violence is more prevalent than gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia; and
* One in four women in the UK will suffer domestic abuse (one in three, globally).
Where to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in imminent danger, call the police on 999.
Otherwise call 0800 2000 247, the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (Freephone), run by Women’s Aid and Refuge.
In the London Borough of Bromley, domestic violence refuges are run by Bromley Women’s Aid. To contact them direct, call 020 8313 9303 Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visits to their website – www.bromleywa.org.uk – can be hidden.
Support is also available for male victims of domestic abuse; contact the ManKind Intitiative 01823 334244 http://new.mankind.org.uk.