News Release from BaNES CCG
On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Bath and
North East Somerset (B&NES) Council and Bath and North East Somerset Clinical
Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) are working with Avon and Somerset Police to
call for everyone to be vigilant about domestic abuse, in all its forms.
Around 2.1 million people suffer some form of domestic abuse in England each year,
with women far more likely to be victims than men. Almost a third of domestic
violence and abuse starts while a woman is pregnant, and on average, high-risk
victims live with abuse for over two and a half years before getting help.
And domestic abuse is not always physical.
“Since last year, controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship
has been illegal,” said Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for
Community Services, Councillor Martin Veal.
“This includes circumstances like being isolated from family and friends and having
access to money and bank accounts restricted.
“It’s vital that we all play a part in looking out for situations that don’t seem right.
Patterns of behaviour and small signs are just as important to follow up as physical
signs because there’s no excuse for any kind of domestic abuse.”
This new offence of controlling and coercive behaviour has already led to 24 arrests
and two convictions by Avon and Somerset Police alone.
Dr Ruth Grabham, Medical Director at BaNES CCG and a GP in Bath said: “None of
us, as friends, family and healthcare professionals, should ever ignore what could be
the signs of domestic abuse – if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
“Trust your instincts and remember that there is no ‘typical’ profile. Victims can be
male, female, transgender, elderly, a child, and living in any type of financial or other
To mark this day and help spread the message that there’s no excuse for domestic
abuse, there is a breakfast event at the Guildhall in Bath, and a candlelight vigil
outside Bath Abbey at 4.30pm. Everyone is welcome to join in the vigil.
The Council and CCG are urging the public, as well as any healthcare professionals
who come into contact with someone they suspect is suffering any form of domestic
abuse, to report their concerns. This can be done by contacting Sirona Care and
Health on 01225 396000. If there is an emergency, always call the Police on 999.
For more information on local organisations that support anyone suffering domestic
violence and/or abuse, visit www.bathnes.gov.uk.