As mentioned yesterday, PP Richard Kemball-Cook has been out delivering cheques to a few local charities while doing his daily exercise on his bike. The latest donation went to Kent domestic violence charity, Rising Sun.
We have all heard reports in the media about a surge in domestic violence following the start of the pandemic. Rising Sun is one of the local charities that aims to support those who have been affected by domestic violence. The charity provides a number of services, including one-stop-shops, counselling and a number of specific programmes. One part of this is their support for young people - as they say on their website: "We believe education is the best way to eradicate the cycle of domestic violence within families." We were therefore pleased to pass on a cheque with monies from our Members' dining surplus.
Richard himself has volunteered for Rising Sun on their "All about Me" programme (he spoke
about his experience there and with a Men's Domestic Violence helpline to our Members in October). The "All about Me" programme is an after-school group for children from broken families that aims to break the circle of violence.
Speaking on the issue after delivering our latest cheque, Richard told us of his concerns about the current situation: "Soaring domestic violence and abuse rates mean that some charities are quoting 900% increases". He added: "My own experience on the Male Victim Helpline, as one of six call handlers working flat out taking calls, echoes this. As we answered calls we would often see the call management system showing more than 10 calls waiting!"
Talking of his experience at "All about Me" he said: "Although the children might not be being abused by the parents (who 'love' them) directly, they suffer a form of abuse if the environment is abusive. Children have an entitlement to be brought up in a caring environment. What is happening now is a mounting crisis of troubled children, some of whom will have developmental problems stretching far into the future." But all is not doom and gloom - "The answer," Richard believes, "lies in building children's esteem, educating them and directing their focus in a positive way - for example, through activities carried out by the Prince of Wales Youth Club and through the Rising Sun's own children’s groups."
Readers wishing to support Rising Sun or find out more about what Rising Sun does, and how you can help, can visit the website here