Cumbria Constabulary are encouraging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence and report such incidents as part of a wider operation targeting violent crime.
As part of the operation launch, police are urging potential offenders to do the right thing or face the consequences of their actions.
Over the past few years the Force has seen a rise in the number of domestic abuse incidents. In the last four years in the month of August Cumbria Constabulary have received 2,530 incidents of domestic abuse. This has increased from 548 incidents in August 2011 to 648 incidents in August 2014.
The increase in the number of incidents reported are encouraging as it indicates that confidence is increasing in reporting domestic abuse.
Temporary Detective Inspector Ralph Henderson said: “There is a perception that domestic abuse is violence, but it is not just physical. Domestic abuse can be emotional, verbal, financial or harassing behaviour. It affects not only partners but everyone within the family.
“Domestic abuse is under-reported, but every year we are seeing more people having the confidence to pick up the phone and report abusive incidents. Cumbria Constabulary have experienced and specially trained officers who will deal with any report in a sensitive and professional manner.
“Police work with partner agencies all year round to support families who live in fear and to encourage them to make contact. There are a number of ways in which victims can get help, for example through agencies such as Let Go and Safe lives.
“I would like to speak directly to those who are victims of abuse to come forward and report it, don’t suffer in silence, help and support is available. Nobody deserves to be subjected to abusive behaviour, it is never the victim’s fault.
“I would also like to state that Cumbria Constabulary has a conviction rate well above the national average for those who commit domestic abuse. To those who abuse their loved ones, there is no justification or excuse for your actions and we will endeavour to bring you to justice.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said “I would urge anyone affected by domestic violence to heed police advice and have the courage and confidence to come forward. Only by reporting this terrible crime and seeking the support they need – either from the police or the other agencies – can victims begin to rebuild their lives. Tackling domestic violence is a key priority of mine, and I am working with the police and other agencies to build on and improve the support systems that will make a real difference.
“There are a number of programmes which I am supporting within the county such as Turning the Spotlight and Step Up. Turning the Spotlight provides wrap around support for whole families, working with perpetrators to address their behaviour as well as providing support for partners and children. The focus of the Step Up programme is to work with adolescents who are violent towards family members and uses cognitive behavioural skills where young people and families learn and practice skills for respectful, non-violent family relationships and safety in the home.
“These projects are the first of their kind in Cumbria and it is a real step forward in providing support to families and young people at the earliest opportunity. People are able to self-refer through the Victim Care Unit on 03003 230 085.”
Anyone who would like to report domestic abuse should call Cumbria Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more information on domestic violence please visit: www.cumbria.police.uk/dv.
For more information on the ‘Do the Right Thing’ campaign please visit: www.cumbria.police.uk/dotherightthing.