The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership will be launching an appeal for local businesses and services to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse on Monday 25 November.
In town centres up and down the county, volunteers will be taking part in a walkabout, visiting local businesses, such as hairdressers and cafes encouraging them, to get involved.
Launch of J9 Community Champion Network
The J9 initiative was developed in memory of Janine Mundy, a mother of two killed by her estranged husband in 2003 while he was on police bail. Started by her family and the local police in Camborne, Cornwall where she lived, the initiative got its name from the way Janine used to sign her text messages ‘J9’.
J9 was established with the aim of raising awareness of domestic abuse among local businesses and services. By educating and enabling people working in the local community, J9 provides increased opportunities for people affected by domestic abuse to access safe, timely help.
J9 Community Champions are trained to identify the signs of domestic abuse and offer a safe environment to listen and help victims by providing information and options for local support services. Once trained, the business or service is provided with a Hertfordshire J9 sticker to display on their premises, so that when customers or passers-by see it they recognise that it is a safe place to get help.
The launch has been planned to coincide with the internationally marked 16 days of action; a time when professionals and volunteers across the wider community including police, councils, health, community and voluntary sectors come together to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is everyone’s business. During 2018/19 there were 19,858 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary, and of this figure, children were present on 4,754 occasions (24% of reported incidents).
Jenny Coles, Chair of the Domestic Abuse Executive Board said: ‘By becoming a J9 Community Champion you will be taking a stand against domestic abuse in Hertfordshire; showing you care about the wellbeing of your community and about victims and survivors of this terrible crime.
‘Last year in Hertfordshire three people were murdered as a result of domestic abuse. Our aim is to make Hertfordshire J9 a recognised symbol of hope, so it becomes as simple as possible for people who are suffering to seek help in confidence.’
Domestic abuse rarely involves a ‘one-off’ incident. More usually it is a pattern of coercive, forced or controlling behaviour by one person (or group) over another. Abuse can begin at any stage of a relationship, sometimes continuing after that relationship has ended. Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of gender, class, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or lifestyle.
In the UK, domestic abuse is known to affect 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 women during their lifetime. Sadly, only 1 in 5 people are known to report incidents to the police, this makes the J9 Champions a vital addition to statutory run services.
For more information and to register your interest with the Hertfordshire J9 Sunflower Champions Network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more information and advice about domestic abuse services in Hertfordshire at www.hertssunflower.org.