Handled with Care

Domestic abuse victims will be 'Handled with Care'

29 May 2012

POLICE and partner agencies in Lancashire have launched a new campaign urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.

The campaign, funded by Safer Lancashire, also reassures victims that they will be handled with care and given access to the support services they need to break free from abuse.

It is being launched ahead of a busy summer of events - including the Euro 2012 Football Championships as evidence suggests that there is often a rise in women being assaulted during football tournaments, largely as a result of increased alcohol consumption by their partners.

However, domestic abuse isn't just violence; it can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner's reaction is being abused.

During 2011, 29,609 domestic abuse incidents were reported to Lancashire Police and in nearly three out of four cases, the offender was charged and brought to justice.

As part of the 'handled with care campaign', posters will be distributed across the county by Safer Lancashire members as well as domestic abuse services.

Advertisements will also be broadcast on Rock FM and appear on bus shelters in Blackburn, Preston, Burnley and Lancaster.

County Councillor David Smith, community safety lead for Lancashire County Council, said: "Domestic abuse is much more common than most people realise and sadly, on average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before she makes her first call for help.  It can happen at any stage of a relationship and is very rarely a one off. One in four women will suffer domestic abuse at some stage in their lives.

"The aim of the Safer Lancashire campaign is to encourage women and anyone else affected by domestic abuse to seek help at the earliest opportunity by contacting the police or the National Domestic Violence Helpline."

He added: "We acknowledge that men as well as women can be victims of domestic abuse but this campaign focuses solely on women as victims as over 80 per cent of victims in domestic violence cases are women."

Head of Lancashire Constabulary's public protection unit, Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley said: "Victims of domestic abuse and their children have the right to live safely in their own home. They should be reassured that the abuse is not their fault and that they are not alone. There is a wide range of support available to them here in Lancashire.

"I would also like to emphasise that a significant amount of time is invested in dealing with offenders too. We always take positive action when we are called to deal with domestic abuse incidents and we do all we can to arrest offenders and put them before the courts.

"Domestic abuse can devastate families and relationships and all of us at Safer Lancashire are committed to providing victims with the help and support they deserve."

The National Domestic Violence Helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 0808 2000 247. Contact police on 101 - always dial 999 in an emergency.

Read more about our Handled with Care campaign.

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