In Focus: Lifeline and Domestic Violence
Have you ever even realised that Lifeline can be really effective in Domestic Violence situations?
In fact, A Lifeline alarm could be a life-saver for anyone who lives in situations of domestic violence (DV). For a number of years, following a campaign in conjunction with Merseyside Police, we at VNC Lifeline have been monitoring alarms in exactly these situations.
How it works:
A DV victim has a base unit connected to a telephone line, but discreetly hidden from view. They then wear a programmed panic button around their wrist - again discreetly hidden, and added to this would be a panic button located near the front door. We monitor the alarm 24 hours a day and if it is activated in a confrontational/emergency situation, we act as a silent listener and will arrange for emergency assistance to be dispatched if necessary. Danger words or code words can also be established so we know that when these are used, there is a serious incident taking place.
Why use Lifeline for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence victims have a right to stay in their own homes in a safe environment and a Lifeline alarm allows them to quickly raise an alert and receive timely help when required.
Staff are trained at our response centre, to immediately call the police and not compromise the situation by talking through the unit to raise suspicions. The units are equipped with a recording device that can let police know what is happening in the house without the victim having to communicate directly. This data can be used as evidence if a case goes to court.
The discreet nature of the service means abusers are not suspicious as they would be if the victim had a mobile phone in their hand. As a result, victims feel better protected, with increased peace of mind for themselves and their children.
Do you know anyone who is living in fear of Domestic Violence? Or do you work with victims of Domestic Violence? If so, please contact us for more information and we would be delighted to talk to you.
Some Facts about Domestic Violence:
- Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
- Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
- Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
- Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
- Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002)
- Approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide