Domestic Abuse can happen to anyone

Published: 02 October 2020

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Domestic abuse can happen to anyone

Eastenders story highlights effect of abuse

Chantelle and Gray Atkins. Photo credit: BBC

Chantelle and Gray Atkins. Photo credit: BBC

A recent storyline on BBC soap opera Eastenders focused on Chantelle Atkins, whose life appeared ‘perfect’ to the outside world. In reality, it was nightmarish.

She was experiencing domestic abuse at the hands of her husband Gray, and was so controlled by him that she was too fearful to speak out about what was happening.

When Chantelle attempted to leave Gray and seek safety for herself and her children, his abusive behaviour violently escalated, resulting in Chantelle’s death.

Chantelle and Gray Atkins. Photo credit: BBC

Chantelle Atkins faces Gray. Photo credit: BBC

Does Gray’s abusive behaviour sound familiar?

You are not alone. Since the COVID-19 national health emergency began, there has been an increase in the incidents of domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is affected, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247.

Visit the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership website for more information about local and national support for all affected by domestic abuse, including men, children and young people, older people and people from the LGBT+ community.


You can help stop domestic abuse: report it anonymously

According to CrimeStoppers, it’s estimated that a typical victim of domestic abuse endures up to 35 assaults before speaking up.

Worried friends, family, neighbours or colleagues can report concerns about domestic abuse anonymously.

If you suspect domestic abuse and don't want to reveal your identity, talk to CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111. Or visit the CrimeStoppers domestic abuse webpage where you can anonymously complete an online form.


Are you concerned about your own behaviour? Call the Respect phoneline on 0808 802 4040

Are you concerned about your own behaviour? Call the Respect phoneline on 0808 802 4040

When the world feels unsafe, don’t make home feel unsafe too

In May 2020, the Respect Phoneline, a confidential helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse, received 70 per cent more calls and 64 per cent more emails from people who wanted to discuss their behaviour towards their partner and family.

Are you concerned about your own behaviour? Call the Respect phoneline on 0808 802 4040 and talk to an advisor. It’s a free call and you won’t be judged or shamed.

To find out more, you can also visit the visit the Respect Phoneline website.

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