New bid to tackle domestic abuse

A new campaign has been launched to combat domestic violence. Picture posed by models
A new campaign has been launched to combat domestic violence. Picture posed by models

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A CAMPAIGN to combat domestic abuse and better support victims has been launched by Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner in a bid to drive down related crimes.

Simon Hayes has vowed to improve victim care, encourage more victims to come forward and target more offenders by working with police, charities, voluntary organisations and other professionals across the county.

It comes after figures revealed 28,944 domestic violence and abuse incidents were reported to Hampshire police last year – 79 a day.

Reported incidents rose year-on-year from 24,297 in 2008 to 28,944 in 2012.

Mr Hayes said: ‘What is being done is good work but it’s not good enough and we need to create an environment, a culture, where we can actually address this issue.’

The commissioner will now hold a conference bringing together organisations to work out new ways to tackle the domestic abuse.

About 140 people working with victims and offenders are due to attend the Eastpoint Centre in Southampton on Wednesday, October 9.

Mr Hayes said: ‘The policies I’m wanting to bring forward focus on supporting the victims and targeting the offenders. That means really improving victim care, increasing the confidence of victims in coming forward and asking for help when they are subject to domestic abuse. Domestic violence is black eyes and broken bones, a serious sexual assault, rape and also psychological abuse as well.

‘It covers a whole range of horrible experiences that women and men experience and of all ages, and also it’s children abusing adults, particularly if the young person has a drug addiction, say.

‘They get desperate, they get desperate for money, their parent or adult involved in their life won’t give them any money, then they will attack them.

‘A lot of perpetrators will talk about having been in a family that had domestic violence and abuse going on when they were younger.’

He added: ‘We are putting Hampshire Constabulary as a lead organisation in trying to deal with this.’

Chief Insp Alison Heydari said: ‘Do not suffer in silence is always a vital message to send and repeat to anyone affected by domestic abuse.

‘You don’t have to put up with it – speak out today. This plea is directed not just at women, but at men and children who can be victims too.’

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