Speak Out Today campaign against domestic violence launches today

Hampshire community groups offered grants of up to £15,000

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PEOPLE are being urged to make a stand against domestic violence with a campaign that launches today.

Speak Out Today is a joint scheme between Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council, which encourages victims, abusers, friends and family to get help over the festive period.

The police force said that domestic violence is the only identified incident type that shows a significantly higher level of reporting in the run-up to Christmas compared to a period earlier in December.

As part of the campaign, stickers are appearing in men’s bathrooms in clubs and pubs in 85 venues across the county.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs said: ‘Domestic abuse is a violent crime, plain and simple and we work hard throughout the year to protect victims and target perpetrators.

‘However, as our research shows that there is a distinct increase in the run up to Christmas and over the new year period, we are encouraging victims, offenders and witnesses, to come forward, report domestic abuse and seek help and advice.

‘We have also recently signed an Enhanced Measures Protocol with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that perpetrators are also prosecuted in cases where a victim withdraws their support. I want a clear message sent to those who abuse their partners; that domestic abuse is unacceptable.’

A live web chat will be hosted on Facebook as part of the campaign on Wednesday, December 12, from 1pm to 3pm.

Representatives from Hampshire Constabulary and experts from Hampshire County Council will be on hand to answer any queries.

Speak Out Today runs until early January.

For more information, go to hampshiredomesticabuse.org.uk.