Love doesn't have to hurt; Valentine's Day message to victims of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire

Published: 14 Feb 2018

Hertfordshire’s Domestic Abuse Partnership are reminding residents that Valentine’s Day is not all chocolates and roses for everyone and we’re reaching out to those people currently being affected by domestic abuse to say love doesn’t have to hurt; help is available in Hertfordshire.

In the last year there have been 16,554 reported incidents of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire, and over the last two years we have seen an increase in the number of reported incidents during February and March. This Valentine’s Day, if someone you love or who says they love and care for you is hurting or controlling you, that’s not right and that’s not love.

Domestic Abuse isn’t just about violent behaviour and can affect anyone, no matter your gender, age, race, religion or sexual preference. Abuse can be physical, but it can also be emotional, someone using words to worry, frighten or control you; it can also be about money, whether it’s the household income or using your own money to control what happens in your day to day life or make you do things you aren’t comfortable doing. Abuse comes in a variety of forms and perpetrators can even be anyone including family members, friends or carers.

Our Herts Sunflower website is a helpful local resource for anyone who is suffering domestic abuse or worried about someone they know who they think may be being abused. has been designed in collaboration with victims of domestic abuse, professionals, domestic abuse specialists and community groups to get you the right support when you need it.  

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Executive Member for Adult Care and Health, said; “At times of celebration it’s easy to forget that there are others living in fear of abuse. Luckily there is help and support available in Hertfordshire, but we all have a responsibility to help those who we feel might be vulnerable to domestic abuse; it could happen to anyone, a loved one, friend, work colleague or neighbour. I’d urge all residents to visit the Herts Sunflower website where you can learn how to spot the signs and how to get help for yourself of anyone you are concerned for”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Ball, chair of the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, said: “Sadly domestic abuse does not stop because it is Valentine’s Day and reports to police continue to rise. We know that abuse can take many forms and our priority remains to safeguard and protect those who are vulnerable to it, in whatever way the abuse is occurring. To those people suffering in a relationship now I would like to say: you don’t have to deal with this on your own. There is help and support available to you.”

If you or someone you know is being affected by domestic abuse, please visit or speak to someone from the Herts Domestic Abuse helpline for help, advice and support on 08 088 088 088 (open weekdays 9am-9pm and weekends 9am-4pm). In an emergency situation, always call 999.