As the European Football Championships approach, Agencies in Warrington are reinforcing a vital message of zero tolerance to Domestic Abuse.

The rise in incidents of domestic abuse during and after football matches is well documented and people affected by domestic abuse are being reminded that they are not alone. 

Warrington Borough Council and partners, are joining representatives from other domestic abuse agencies across the county to give domestic abuse the red card.

Live web chats hosted by Cheshire Police will take place throughout June to support anyone experiencing domestic abuse.

Anyone with questions or worries is able to join in by submitting their concerns anonymously about their situation. Family members or friends are also able to find out what they should do if they are concerned about loved ones. Representatives are able to answer queries relevant to where people live.

  • Thursday, 3 June, 10am – 11am
  • Tuesday, 8 June, 2pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday, 16 June, 10am – 11am

Information on how to participate on the web chats with be promoted on our social media.

Many of the initial signs and symptoms of abuse can be tricky to spot from the outside so people are asked to trust their instincts. Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • Undermining you, so you lose confidence
  • Isolating you from your friends and family
  • Making all the decisions in your life, including what you wear, who you talk to and where you go and when
  • Making you do things that you don’t want to do
  • Controlling your money
  • Following you when you go out
  • Needing to know where you are at all times

Cllr Russ Bowden, leader of the council said: “We know that the last 18 months has been an extremely difficult time for anyone who has been experiencing domestic abuse. The upcoming European Football Championship will also be a worrying time for many of these people.

“Domestic abuse doesn’t have to stay behind closed doors. Cheshire’s Open the Door is there to help people get the help they need and to bring this hidden crime out into the open.

Please don’t suffer in silence, support is available.”

Across Cheshire, the Open the Door website is there to provide support to residents across Cheshire 24/7. The Open the Door campaign encourages people experiencing abuse, people with abusive behaviours, friends and family to access information about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and how to get early help. Information is also available for local employers to help them recognise if a colleague is in an abusive situation at home.

People feeling vulnerable while visiting pubs across the borough can also seek support through the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme which is being backed by a number of organisations and venues across the borough, including Warrington Pubwatch, to support anybody out in company who feels unsafe.

The ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign encourages people to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar where they ask for “Angela’ – a phrase that means bar staff will ensure the person gets home safely. It works by licensed premises displaying an ‘Ask for Angela’ posters or window sticker which signals that they are signed up to the scheme. The staff know to take action if someone approaches the bar and asks if they can speak with ‘Angela’. If that happens the staff will discreetly offer to separate the individual asking for Angela from the person who is causing them discomfort or distress, and ensure that the person is able to leave safely. In any situation where a person becomes aggressive or is making threats to harm an individual or a member of staff, the police will be called immediately.

If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn’t quite feel right, speak to someone about it. You can get help and advice and access self-support services at: openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 7047, option 2. Always ring 999 in an emergency.

Locally, adult victims can access specialist support from our community based IDVA service, 01925 243359.

If you are concerned about the impact domestic abuse is having on a child then report any safeguarding concerns to our safeguarding hub on 01925 443322/ out of office 01925 444400.