Hertfordshire County Council launch domestic abuse appeal to help victims

Council bosses have launched an appeal for businesses and services to help domestic abuse victims.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 9:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 9:32 am

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.

The J9 initiative was created 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 police in Camborne, Cornwall where she lived, the initiative got its name from the way Janine used to sign her text messages ‘J9’.

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The scheme was established with the aim to raise awareness of domestic abuse amongst 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 and offer a safe environment to listen and help victims by providing information and options for local support services.

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.”

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.

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).

For more information and to register your interest with the Hertfordshire J9 Sunflower Champions Network, email [email protected]

You can find more information and advice about domestic abuse services in Hertfordshire at www.hertssunflower.org