Leeds Rhinos legends Kevin Sinfield MBE and Jamie Jones-Buchanan have backed a social media campaign to raise awareness for domestic abuse.
The campaign was launched on Tuesday in partnership between the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Inspire North, a charity which provides support for people affected by domestic abuse and mental health issues across the North of England.
Calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline increased by 49% in the week prior to 15 April and that research by Counting Dead Women calculated that at least 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children had taken place between 23 March and 12 April, double that of an average 21-day period in the last decade.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to speak out and alert the authorities if they suspect there is a problem. There are support services that can help,” he said.
“A huge team effort by us all can make a big difference to improve the lives of those experiencing abuse. Don’t ignore cries for help. If you believe someone is in immediate danger of domestic abuse, stay safe yourself and dial 999.”
Jamie Jones-Buchanan added: “In these unprecedented times, where the vast majority of us are helping each other out, it is a massive concern that for too many people lockdown for them is feeling scared, isolated and dangerously vulnerable. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, if you think a neighbour or a loved one may be being abused, call the police. There’s no excuse for abuse.”
The campaign encourages people to show their support by posting videos and photos of themselves on social media holding a piece of paper with the hashtag #noexcuseforabuse.
A video featuring the Leeds Rhinos legends pressing home the message has been released today. Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Kevin Sinfield have also made videos of themselves sharing the message and asking other high profile sports and entertainment stars to pass it on.