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Nigella case leads to rise in domestic abuse reports
Shocking pictures of a row between a celebrity chef and her husband have prompted more domestic violence victims in the city to come forward.
Charity chiefs in Brighton said there had been a “marked” increase in calls for help after Charles Saatchi was pictured grasping Nigella Lawson’s neck at a London restaurant last month.
In the days after the row hit the headlines, Brighton-based domestic violence charity RISE experienced a 20% increase in traffic to its website.
There was also an increase in calls to the charity’s helpline, according to chief executive Gail Gray.
Ms Gray revealed an Argus feature on domestic violence last month had also helped to raise awareness.
She said: “The reality of domestic abuse shown in the photographs of Nigella has lead to an increase of people looking for support, and also of people wanting to help.
“Domestic violence is a fixture in the lives of so many, so it is heartening the response of the community is to want to help change this.
“We did have a service user comment The Argus coverage had made a big difference for her.
“She hadn’t realised the stats for domestic violence were so high and she felt a lot more normal in the face of them.”
ormer advertising executive Saatchi, 70, accepted a police caution after photographs were published showing him with his hands around his wife’s neck during the argument on June 16.
Domestic violence charity Refuge experienced a four-fold increase in website visits in the days after the attack.
A spokeswoman said: “If anything positive is to come of this incident, it is there has been a massive public response which has generated a nationwide discussion about domestic violence.”
Council staff are hoping more victims will come forward as part of campaign to raise awareness called White Ribbon.
Workers from Lewes District Council will be on hand at the Mumford and Sons concert on 19 to 20 July to distribute 6,000 free bottles of water carrying the white ribbon logo.
A spokeswoman said: “The campaign highlights that domestic abuse is an issue that affects every community and promotes the variety of services and support available for all victims of domestic abuse.”
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