A new domestic abuse campaign has the backing of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The ‘Be A Lover Not A Fighter’ campaign is running across areas in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire in a bid to encourage people to talk about the issue and know how to help if someone they know is experiencing domestic abuse.

The campaign is encouraging people to wear the ‘Be A Lover Not A Fighter’ badge and offer another to a friend, family member or colleague. This year there is a focus on children, as 90% of domestic abuse is said to be witnessed by them.

The borough council is to take part in a face-to-face engagement event as part of a series of 12 public events taking place to support the campaign.

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Deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, leisure and wellbeing Louise Gittins (Lab, Little Neston and Burton) said: “Domestic abuse is about more than physical violence.

“The short and long term impacts on children are huge, on behaviour and educational achievement as well as physical and mental health, including increasing the risk of suicide and self-harm.

“Domestic abuse has significant psychological consequences for everyone involved especially children. We welcome anything that raises awareness about what domestic abuse is so people can understand the issue and we can help support more people.

“Creating the environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less will help support our local work and we want to encourage people to pledge their support.”

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One in three women and one in six men are said to have suffered domestic abuse with two women killed every week and two men killed every month in the UK by their partners.

Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or anyone they know can contact the advice line of the Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit on 01606 351 375.

They can also contact the national 24 hour free helpline 0808 2000 247 or in an emergency dial 999.

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The men’s advice line is 0808 801 0327. For refuge accommodation contact the Women’s Housing Action Group on 0151 356 4686. The Cheshire West event is taking place on Wednesday, March 2 in the Forum Shopping Centre in Chester.