The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded a video message introducing three animations which aim to raise awareness of coercive and controlling behaviour so that more people understand that this is domestic abuse and a criminal offence.
The new campaign is collaboration between the Dorset High Sheriff John Young, Bournemouth University, the Dorset Criminal Justice Board and the Safer Poole Partnership.
In Dorset alone, there is an average of 459 reports of domestic abuse per month but it is known that domestic abuse is often under reported and victims suffer in silence. In some cases victims may not realise or acknowledge that the controlling and coercive behaviour they are enduring is abuse.
It was introduced as a criminal offence in December 2015 to close the gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour, which amounts to psychological and emotional abuse, but stops short of physical abuse.
Bournemouth University students were asked by the Dorset High Sheriff John Young, to create an animated film which depicts some of the most common examples; making serious threats, tracking and monitoring someone’s day to day activity, and isolation from friends, family and interests.
In a video recorded at Clarence House, The Duchess of Cornwall says: "Thankfully the sometimes disastrous effects of domestic abuse in society are now much better understood. Much less understood is the psychological abuse which exists in some relationships. I'm delighted that Dorset Police and Bournemouth University are working together to make this short film and that it will, over time, help to raise public awareness of some of the complex characteristics that make up controlling and coercive behaviour which is now, thank goodness, a crime."
Her Royal Highness has been closely involved with charities and organisations working to support victims of domestic abuse for many years. She has visited refuges across the UK and overseas, as well as hosting a reception at Clarence House and visiting Metropolitan Police offices to learn about technology which enables those at risk to contact the police quickly and discreetly during an emergency.