North Herts businesses invited to join domestic abuse community network

The J9 Community Network is being launched across Hertfordshire to help victims of domestic abuse. P

The J9 Community Network is being launched across Hertfordshire to help victims of domestic abuse. Picture: Herts county council - Credit: Archant

Businesses and services in North Herts are urged to take part in a new community network to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership launched the J9 Community Network on Monday, November 25, with volunteers visiting local businesses such as hairdressers and cafés and encouraging them to get involved.

The J9 initiative was developed in memory of Janine Mundy, a mother of two who was killed by her estranged husband in 2003 while he was on police bail. Started by her family and local police in Camborne, Cornwall, where she lived, the initiative got its name from the way Janine used to sign her text messages: 'J9'.

J9 Community Champions are trained to identify the signs of domestic abuse and offer a safe environment to listen and help victims by providing information and options for local support services.

Once trained, businesses and services are provided with a Hertfordshire J9 sticker to display on their premises, so that customers and passersby recognise it as a safe place to get help.

The launch coincides with the international 16 days of action, when professionals and volunteers across the wider community, including police, councils, health, community and voluntary sectors come together to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

During 2018 to 2019 there were 19,858 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Herts police, and of those children were present on 4,754 occasions, which is 24 per cent of reported incidents.

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Chair of the domestic abuse executive board Jenny Coles said: "By becoming a J9 Community Champion you will be taking a stand against domestic abuse in Hertfordshire; showing you care about the wellbeing of your community and about victims and survivors of this terrible crime.

"Last year in Herts three people were murdered as a result of domestic abuse.

"Our aim is to make Hertfordshire J9 a recognised symbol of hope, so it becomes as simple as possible for people who are suffering to seek help in confidence."

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