‘We hope to end the fear of domestic violence’

Tony Lloyd on the Sit Right With You
Tony Lloyd on the Sit Right With You

Wigan residents are being encouraged to get comfortable talking about domestic abuse with the launch of a ground-breaking campaign.

The Sitting Right With You crusade features imagery of a yellow sofa accompanied by challenging messages to get people thinking differently about what domestic abuse is and encouraging victims to take that first step and ask for help.

One in three women and one in six men experience some form of domestic abuse, but it isn’t only physical violence. Controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go, who they talk to is just as damaging and is abuse.

Messages including “he checks my phone all the time,” “she has control over my bank accounts,” and “I can go out with friends when he says it’s OK,” encourage people to think and look differently about what makes a healthy relationship.

Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families, tragically sometimes taking a life. With this campaign we want to empower people to take a hard look at their own or a loved one’s relationship and, if it doesn’t sit right with you, make that first step to get advice and support.”

Wigan Council leader Lord Smith said: “Domestic abuse can have long-lasting effects on victims and their families yet many people may not even be aware what they are experiencing is abuse. This campaign highlights behaviours that people may experience or even display that are signs of an unhealthy relationship, without having thought of the consequences. Hopefully it will help people speak up and question what domestic abuse really is and whether things sit right with them.”

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford said: “We work hard all year round tackling domestic abuse and raising awareness of the help that people can access for themselves or someone that they know. By challenging people’s perceptions of domestic abuse and encouraging people to talk about it, like this campaign does, we hope to end the fear of domestic abuse.”

The yellow sofa will be travelling around Greater Manchester over the next few weeks, encouraging local people to talk about domestic abuse and get help and support if they need it.

Follow the conversation at #SittingRightWithYou or visit www.sittingrightwithyou.co.uk to find out more. Anyone affected by domestic abuse can contact the Greater Manchester domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525.