Domestic abuse: Show your support for the campaign aiming no-one is left behind

We recently heard Anna McMorrin MP support the 'not just another' campaign initiated by Professor Jane Monckton Smith, but we need everyone to support this vital campaign, writes Sam Billingham, of Survivors of Domestic Abuse (SODA).

Sam Billingham runs support group SODA (Survivors of Domestic Abuse)
Sam Billingham runs support group SODA (Survivors of Domestic Abuse)

One clear thing about this campaign is it counts all victims of domestic abuse.

SODA fully supports this campaign in solidarity with bereaved families, professionals, MPs and other agencies. However, we must all stand in solidarity to stand together and realise the seriousness of domestic abuse.

Those supporting the campaign are asking two things:

  • To count the unexpected domestic abuse-related deaths

  • To investigate all sudden unexpected domestic abuse-related deaths

Changes are required to how we look into and record the reasons behind suicide. How can we fully address it if we do not know about it?

All victims of domestic abuse count - that is exactly what the 'not just another' campaign is doing, counting victims. So many families have been affected by the loss of a loved one to domestic homicide.

The 'not just another' campaign leaves no-one behind, it focuses on not just another homicide, suicide, daughter, son, mother, sister, brother, isolated incident, statistic, victim, missing person, domestic, sex game gone wrong, loss of control, accident or mercy killing.

We owe it to all those who have lost their lives to domestic abuse to acknowledge and address the scale of domestic abuse, start the conversation, count them and investigate them.

Everyone needs to get behind this campaign for every victim of domestic homicide and domestic suicide, so they can be recognised and supported.

I am urging and encouraging everyone to support this campaign because the reality is, we all know someone who is or who has experienced domestic abuse.

There are so many campaigners such as Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) advocating that better data is vital.

MPs across the country have received a letter signed by more than 220 organisations, charities, individuals and bereaved families, demanding for a call for police to treat all of a sudden, unexpected deaths of those known to be victims of domestic abuse as potential femicide from the outset, securing the scene.

The full extent of domestic abuse-related suicide is unknown but we all know enough to be concerned and act on those concerns.

Two of the powerhouses behind this campaign are survivor Rachel Williams who suffered 18 years of domestic abuse, was shot and beaten by a perpetrator and weeks later Jack, her 16-year-old son took his own life.

Gemma Graham says: “This campaign is very personal to me. When I was six years old, I lost my mum to a domestic abuse-related suicide. No one would talk about my mum’s death. My mum never got the recognition or support she deserved; it has significantly impacted on my whole life. We are asking for every victim of homicide after domestic abuse to be counted because they count."

You can support the campaign by following the #notjustanother hashtag on Twitter.

  • Sam is the founder of support group SODA (Survivors of Domestic Abuse)

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