New campaign: take action if you suspect domestic violence

A new national campaign begins today entitled Het houdt niet op, totdat je iets doet (It won't stop until you do something), which calls on individuals to take action if they suspect domestic violence or child abuse. Raising consciousness and taking action are important. Recent research conducted by the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) shows that domestic violence and child abuse are still widespread, as stated in a letter from Hugo de Jonge, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, and Sander Dekker, Minister for Legal Protection, to the Dutch House of Representatives.

Domestic violence and child abuse are among the major issues related to violence in the Netherlands. The consequences are far-reaching and often affect the rest of victims' lives. People from the immediate environment of victims of domestic violence often suspect something is wrong. A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Ministry of Justice and Security revealed that three in ten individuals only discuss their suspicions with their partners, if they do so at all.

The new campaign is therefore intended to encourage people to take the first step if they suspect domestic violence or child abuse. In the coming months the campaign will focus on child abuse. Later this year elder abuse and partner abuse will also be addressed. The website (in Dutch) provides advice on taking action.

New WODC figures

The importance of raising consciousness and taking action is confirmed by the results of the WODC research into domestic violence and child abuse. The WODC figures showed that in over a five-year period, some 97,000 women and 27,000 men dealt with physical or sexual violence on a structural basis.

The same study revealed that every year at least 90,000 to 127,000 children aged between 0 and 17 fall victim to at least one form of child abuse.