Domestic abuse does not just stop because a woman is pregnant.
That’s the message from an award-winning campaign against led by a Kirklees Council.
The It’s Never Ok campaign, which started last year, aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and help those affected.
The second phase of the campaign launched this week and features a video clip as well as website adverts, social media and posters.
It is being organised by Kirklees Council in partnership with voluntary groups, public services and community organisations.
The campaign is aimed at pregnant women, aged 16 and over, and is raising awareness that domestic abuse doesn’t stop during pregnancy.
It also advises that midwives can offer support and guidances to women who are affected.
Coun Viv Kendrick (Lab, Heckmondwike), cabinet member for health, wellbeing and communities, said: “It’s important that people affected by abuse know where they can get support and help to break the cycle.
“The last thing any mum wants to do is to bring their child up in an abusive environment.
“It’s essential that people get help, speak out and know that there is someone out there who they can trust and turn to – please don’t suffer in silence.
“The first phase of this domestic violence campaign was a big success. More importantly, it resulted in over 3,500 visits to the council’s website directing victims to support and over 100 calls for help.
“All in all it was a great example of multi-agency working on such an important area and I hope that this next phase will have similar success in reaching people and changing lives.”
The success of the first phase of the campaign was recognised as it won a Chartered Institute of PR Excellence Award in the Public Sector Campaign category last year.
Organisations backing the campaign include Yorkshire Police, the NHS, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Locala, Lifeline/On-TRAK and Kirklees College.
Rebecca Hirst, director of Pennine Domestic Violence Group, said: “Domestic abuse during pregnancy is very common. Sadly over a third of domestic abuse begins when a woman is pregnant.’
“Women who are in a relationship or family environment which is abusive often report that the abuse they suffer increased during the pregnancy. This poses a much higher risk to mum and baby’s health.”