Shocking statistics reveal that one in three women who attempt suicide do so because they are being affected by domestic violence  and an average of two women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence.   59% of women are more likely to confide in a friend if affected by domestic violence  – look for the signs and you could save a friend’s life! …

The Body Shop has teamed up with Women’s Aid for the 4th year to launch the 2008 ‘Stop Violence in the Home’ campaign to increase awareness, raise funds for the national domestic violence charity and help put a stop to domestic violence.

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Natasha, 30 years old and an X-Factor contestant last year, met her partner in a bookshop in 2005. At first he seemed intellectual and a calm and loving person but soon she began to notice strange behaviour, such as stealing when they were shopping together, and that he became angry over minor things. This behaviour escalated and in the six months that they were together Natasha endured death threats, attempted strangulation, being thrown to the floor, pulled by the hair and verbal abuse. Finally he stabbed her in the leg with a knife whilst she was driving and tried to strangle her. He has since been convicted of witness intimidation, GBH, ABH and is still in prison having received a three and a half year sentence.

Natasha is one of the fortunate ones to have escaped the clutches of domestic violence but there are many women who are still suffering and going unnoticed.

The Body Shop conducted an independent survey which revealed that 59% of women are more likely to confide in a friend, if affected by domestic violence . With this in mind, this year’s ‘Stop Violence In The Home’ campaign focuses on friendship and calls on all women to become empowered to make a stand against domestic violence; whether they are a victim or a friend.

The Body Shop is raising funds for Women’s Aid with the, ‘For You, For Me’ Shea Lip Care Stick Duo: RRP: £7.00. With every Lip Care Duo sold £4.80 goes directly to Women’s Aid, but also provide benefits to a community in Ghana, as the shea butter from the Lip Care Stick is sourced through the unique Community Trade programme. Available in stores nationwide now!

Additional information:

Some signs to look out for:
•    Has your friend recently become quieter or more withdrawn?
•     Are you made to feel unwelcome or tense when her partner is nearby?
•    Has she ever said that her partner is possessive or jealous?
•    Have you noticed bruises or cuts?
•    Does she end phone calls or conversation suddenly when her partner appears?
•    Socially, has she begun to see less of you and your friends?

How to help a friend

•    If you’re worried, show your concern by asking questions such as “You don’t look very happy, is everything OK at home?”. This gives your friend the chance to open up and confide in you.
•    Be patient. Listen and don’t judge her. It is up to her to make decisions in her own time.
•    You must not be critical of her partner. This could make her feel ashamed and may prevent her from confiding in you again.
•    There is a possibility you may lose contact with your friend temporarily. This may make you feel frustrated or angry, but be patient.
•    You must tell her that the violence isn’t her fault. Remind her that violence is a choice and that her partner is the only one responsible for his behaviour. Being honest with your friend will help her realise that her relationship isn’t healthy.
•    Remind your friend that domestic violence is against the law and the police have to investigate.
•    Encourage her to seek immediate confidential help from the police or contact Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247.
•    Knowing that she has the continual loyal support of her family and friends will encourage her to begin a new life.
•    Most importantly, don’t give up on your friend. You might be her only lifeline.
•    If you feel your friend is in immediate danger call the Police on 999. For support and information you can also contact the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247.

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