CHILDREN from Barnstaple primary schools joined representatives of local organisations in the town square as part of a week-long campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse. They waved banners and posters and wore white ribbons to mark Domestic Violence

CHILDREN from Barnstaple primary schools joined representatives of local organisations in the town squareas part of a week-long campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse.They waved banners and posters and wore white ribbons to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Week.Under the slogan "home is where the hurt is," they highlighted the right of everyone to feel safe in their own homes.The event was organised by Women's Aid, the Youth Inclusion Support Team and the Children's Activity Support Programme.Devon Children's Trust chairperson Mary Nisbet was guest speaker and there was live music from Jim Jones and Jenna Witts, including the Christmas carol Silent Night, to which everyone sang along.Other events organised locally during the week included a dinner and auction at The Cedars, Barnstaple, "petal launches" at the Family Centre in Ilfracombe and the Heritage Centre in Barnstaple, a quiz in the Cork and Bottle, Barnstaple, and an evening music event at The Inn on the Square. At assemblies at a number of local schools the main message was to inform children and young people of the services available if they felt they needed someone to talk to and that they were not alone. North Devon College drama students wrote and performed a play looking at issues surrounding domestic violence. A Battle of the Bands competition launched in August asked young people to write and perform a song on the theme of "family relationships" and the top six bands recorded their song at the North Devon College for the Domestic Violence Week. In the year 2007/08 police recorded 23,808 incidents of domestic violence in Devon and Cornwall, including four deaths. There were 1,168 convictions.