domesticforum2The Island’s Domestic Abuse Forum is returning to Bestival this year to raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence following the success of its White Ribbon stall at last year’s event.

Members of the forum, which is made up of a variety of agencies, will be asking people to show their support for the cause by helping to create a hand print banner with the slogan ‘these hands don’t hurt’. The finished banner will then be displayed at Bestival and used at future events across the Island to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Building on the success of last year’s presence at Bestival, the forum will have its own yurt to provide privacy for anyone who may have been affected by the issues and want to talk with a member of staff and access information and support.

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Bestival is attended by large numbers of local people and provides an excellent opportunity for the Domestic Abuse Forum to provide positive advice about preventing abuse as well as how to seek support if affected by the issue.

Councillor Ian Stephens, leader of the council, said:

“Sadly domestic abuse is affecting more and more of our young people so it is important that agencies on the Island work together to help young people to prevent abuse and also make it easy for people to get support should they need it.

“Having a presence at Bestival, which is attended by a lot of young Islanders, is a great way to provide advice on what is a sensitive subject, in a fun and informal way.”

Fleur Gardiner, domestic abuse co-ordinator at the Isle of Wight Council, said:

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“We’re delighted to be invited back to Bestival again this year to continue this work. It is vital that young people know that domestic and sexual abuse is unacceptable, that they have the right to live their lives free from abuse and that there are services and support here on the Island to help them.”

The Domestic Abuse Forum’s stall and yurt is located in the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ (bandstand) field.

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