Campaign to tackle domestic abuse

The Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women Partnership (DAVAWP) and the local Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) are working together on a new campaign.

It will tackle myths in relation to alcohol consumption, domestic abuse and sexual consent.

The campaign consists of drink mats that are currently being distributed to more than 200 pubs across Dumfries and Galloway.

With the message ‘Domestic abuse, alcohol is NO excuse’ the drink mats challenge the popular myth that alcohol is the sole cause of domestic abuse and also reinforce the message that it is not an excuse to justify violence against women.

The drink mats also raise awareness of the relationship between alcohol and sexual consent by conveying the message that a person under the influence of alcohol cannot consent to sex; this message is in line with the current definition of sexual consent as ‘free agreement’ as stated in the Sexual Offences Scotland Act 2009.

The drink mats also feature helpline numbers where victims can get help and support.

Professor Hazel Borland , DAVAWP Chair said: “It is very important to debunk the myth that alcohol is the only cause of domestic abuse and make it clear that this is not an excuse for abuse to happen.

“It is also very important to highlight and bring the message to the wider community that even if someone has agreed to have sex, once a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs they can’t consent to sex anymore and if consent was previously given, it no longer counts in such a context. We hope that the drink mats will raise awareness.”