Wednesday 9 January 2013

Peace and goodwill to all?

Christmas and New Year have now long gone, but sadly not everyone experienced peace and goodwill to all men, or women. Domestic incidents are the only identified incident type that shows a significantly higher level of reporting in the run-up to Christmas and New Year. On average over the past six years, 20 per cent more domestic incidents have been reported in December than in a similar period earlier in the year.

The financial pressures of Christmas, spending time with distant relatives - or even close relatives that are usually at work/school/college - or simply the desire to give your family the best Christmas ever, can all add to the tension in the home.

Now we are into the New Year, the domestic abuse can potentially continue. Research shows that a woman being subjected to domestic abuse is likely to experience 35 separate incidents before calling the Police. Many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to help the police in pursuing criminal cases against violent partners, or even seek help at all. In nearly a quarter of the cases reported to police, these are repeat offences.

New measures were introduced in September 2012 to provide an enhanced criminal justice service in high risk cases to make sure that more is done now, to prevent repeat victims of the future. This includes providing enhanced victim care and pursuing cases to court wherever possible, even when a victim may change their mind about supporting a complaint.

There are often many reasons why victims are reluctant to prosecute the perpetrator. For example, they may fear that their actions will exacerbate a violent situation and increase the danger they face. Although this poses significant challenges for the Police, it is vital that everything is done to protect domestic abuse victims and help them break the cycle of abuse.

The Police understand that victims are frequently most at risk from a coercive and controlling partner when they seek help, or try to end a relationship. Through this new, joint approach with the CPS the Police will make sure that victims are well supported, right from the moment they first call to the conclusion of a trial. They will also prosecute cases wherever they can in order to help survivors of domestic abuse break the cycle of violence against them.

A video has also been produced to encourage people to ‘Speak Out Today’. The video can be found at If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, Speak Out Today. Visit the Hampshire & IOW Domestic Abuse Forum website to find out about local services and where to go for help and advice. Do not suffer in silence. If you do not want to get involved but suspect someone is suffering from domestic abuse, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Just tell us what you know, not who you are.

Remember – if you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give Crimestoppers a call on 0800 555111 or log on to when you can also give information anonymously.

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