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Warwickshire Police Wins £9k to Support Domestic Abuse Victims Over Festive Period

Warwickshire Police has just been awarded £9,000 of Home Office funding to support victims of Domestic Abuse over the festive period including Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The funding will be used to provide a dedicated rapid response domestic abuse vehicle that aims to attend all incidents of domestic abuse over the Christmas period in the Nuneaton and Bedworth borough.

Inspector Wayne Cooke said "Victims need the support of specialist staff and part of the funding will go to local charity, Warwickshire Domestic Violence Support Services who will provide outreach workers at peak times during the campaign to support victims.

"Domestic abuse is unacceptable and we are urging victims not to accept physical, verbal, mental, sexual or financial abuse from their partner. Please take the first step in seeking help by calling the police and reporting the incident.

"As well as offering a quick response, our specially trained officers can refer you to local support agencies.

"Our statistics tell us that holiday periods are peak times for domestic abuse to take place. We also know that alcohol is a contributory factor in 39% of cases and that is why this initiative is running over the Christmas period."

Between 17 December 2007 and 6 January 2008 there were 89 offences of domestic abuse in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough reported to us. Sixty-seven of these (75%) were violent offences including 45 Section 47 Assaults and 17 Common Assaults." There were also 17 incidents of Criminal Damage that were believed to be linked to domestic abuse.

Christmas should be a magical time for children, however it is estimated that 80% of victim's children either witnessed or experienced domestic abuse.

Inspector Wayne Cooke said "The Nuneaton and Bedworth borough has been chosen because not only is it one of the busiest boroughs in Warwickshire in terms of policing generally but the densely populated area allows the rapid response vehicle to respond quickly as incidents arise.

"The response vehicle will be double crewed by specially trained officers who will be equipped with body worn video and digital cameras to assist in the capture of evidence. The vehicle and officers are an additional resource over and above the normal borough policing level.

"They are not being given any other duty and will be on standby to attend incidents at the busiest times and dates over the Christmas period. The vehicle will also conduct proactive work wherever possible including conducting checks on prolific domestic abuse offenders to ensure compliance with bail and other conditions."

Rachel of Warwickshire Domestic Violence Support Services said "There are a number of options available to victims of domestic abuse and we are here to help and support victims to make informed choices. The most important thing is to tell someone. Don't keep it to yourself. Our volunteers are here to help."

The increased enforcement activity will run alongside a national television advertising campaign encouraging victims of domestic violence to seek support and not to suffer in silence. The adverts are supported by Women's Aid and Refuge and will run until 15 January 2009.

The adverts feature a woman at a celebration with people around her singing "when we get behind closed doors" with the strap line 'Don't suffer in silence'. The adverts will run for one month on national television.

Click here to view the advert

In addition to the national helplines and websites, Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse provides a number of ways to seek help and information locally, including a freephone number 0800 408 1552, available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm Saturday with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

However, if you are in immediate danger dial 999 - don't put yourself or your family at risk.

There is also a website - www.talk2someone.org.uk - which offers information and support for victims, families, friends and neighbours as well as perpetrators, who may be looking to turn things around. Last year 110 people sought counselling to change their behaviour.

  • Calls from most landlines are free and not itemised on bills. If in doubt, or you are calling from a mobile, please check with your telephone provider.
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