Tensions in many homes can begin to run high when family members must stay at home at length to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A new campaign will issue a national family peace declaration to keep families safe and call attention to the dangers of domestic violence.
Finland’s Declaration of Family Peace challenges us all to nurture the wellbeing of our families through these uncertain times. The campaign, organised by the Fragile Childhood charity and the City of Helsinki’s working group to prevent domestic violence, also serves as a reminder that help is nearby, if a family finds that their peaceful existence has been interrupted. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö acts as the campaign’s official patron.
“The Declaration of Family Peace will hopefully make people at home think beyond just the moment at hand,” says Minna Ilva, project manager of Fragile Childhood, a programme sponsored by the A-Clinic Foundation, which is a non-profit specializing in substance abuse treatment and mental health work.
The declaration itself has been modelled on Finland’s Declaration of Christmas Peace that is broadcast to the nation each year to remind the nation of the sanctity of a peaceful holiday. Actor Tommi Korpela will read the declaration on commercial television channel MTV on Saturday, 4 April at 9:55 pm, just before the ten o’clock news broadcast. The declaration will be available after this time on the channels of the public broadcaster Yle.
“This situation is very strained in many families who have no prior experience with unrest in the home, but is even more fraught for those families with a history of domestic violence,” says Kaisa Ketola, chair of the City of Helsinki’s domestic violence prevention working group.
“Empty shelves show that people are hoarding alcohol. Add to this a tense home environment and you definitely have a dangerous situation, if family members can’t keep their cool,” adds Ilva.
The website of the campaign, www.perherauhanjulistus.fi, will be published on Saturday, 4 April to coincide with the reading of the declaration. It contains information on organisations and groups that provide low-threshold assistance. Everyone with a concern is encouraged to seek help immediately.
”Reaching out for help when your behaviour starts to feel uncontrollable is often the most effective form of prevention,” says Ketola.
The state alcohol monopoly Alko is also providing the campaign with assistance, as part of its responsibility efforts to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol use.
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