No excuse for domestic abuse

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POLICE have launched a campaign urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence this summer.

The initiative is being run in Cambridgeshire to coincide with the Euro 2012 football tournament.

It aims to encourage victims to report incidents and reassure them that reports will be treated seriously and they will be offered support.

In the past, incidents of domestic abuse have increased during major football tournaments.

During the four weeks of the 2010 World Cup, there were 1213 domestic incidents in the county, compared to 1015 in the four weeks previous and 1062 in the same four weeks in 2009.

Detective Inspector Chris Balmer, from the force’s Public Protection Department, said: “We know that domestic abuse can escalate during these events and that alcohol and other factors can play a part although they are not the sole cause.

“Those people who use violent and abusive behaviour in their relationships may try to minimise, rationalise and excuse their actions but there is no excuse.

“Victims do not need to tolerate the abuse or suffer in silence. We will take their reports seriously, work with them and take positive action.”

The constabulary has a specialist investigations team, which not only looks into all crimes linked to domestic abuse but can also provide advice about how to stay safe and reduce the risks victims and their children face in the future.

The force works closely with charities, such as Refuge and Womens’ Aid and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (IDVAS), and schools, social care and housing to tackle domestic abuse at all levels and from all sides.

Cambridgeshire was the first force in the region to introduce a MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferencing) group. This group manages individual cases of domestic abuse and looks at ways of reducing the risk of harm to partners and children.

The force also works with the National Centre for Domestic Violence which provides quick access to legal support and court assistance from solicitors.

The summer initiative will be supported by the force’s ‘Get Closer’ campaign which will include radio adverts encouraging victims to report domestic violence and not suffer in silence.

Useful contact numbers:

Cambridgeshire Constabulary - 101

National Domestic Violence Hotline - 0808-2000247

Women’s Aid and Refuge; National Helpline 0808-2000247;

Men’s Advice Line: 0808-8010327 : 0808-8010327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Everyman Project: 0207-2638884 www.everymanproject.co.uk

Ashiana Project: 0208-5390427. Advice and support and safe housing for South Asian, Turkish and Iranian women fleeing domestic abuse or forced marriage.