Today (1st December), sees the launch of Cumbria Police's domestic abuse awareness campaign.
The campaign will run over the Christmas period; featuring the daily promotion of different support services on the Force’s social media accounts. The support services being highlighted provide a range of services for victims of domestic abuse in Cumbria.
The campaign will also encourage reporting and raise awareness of domestic abuse offences.
There are five areas which domestic abuse is categorised into:
1) Controlling behaviour, where a perpetrator controls areas of the victim’s life. This can include, controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.
2) Coercive behaviour, where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells all the time.
3) Financial abuse, where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others. This is also a form of controlling behaviour.
4) Psychological abuse, where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mind set of the victim.
5) Physical abuse.
The Constabulary will also be hosting weekly domestic abuse surgeries through Events on their Facebook page. The surgeries are supported by the Constabulary and partner agencies; giving the public access to several professional support services in one easily accessible place. These events will run on Wednesdays on the run up to Christmas.
On average, Cumbria Police Deal with at least 17 incidents of domestic abuse everyday across the county. Almost half of these reports are from people who have experienced violence before.
Due to many factors, cases of domestic abuse commonly increase in December. The Constabulary’s campaign is set to send a clear message to victims: There is support available for you.
Force lead for domestic abuse, Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop said: “This campaign aims to highlight the support services available to the public so they can get the advice and support they may need. Getting the right support can empower someone to take their next positive step forward.”
“We also want to encourage victims to report abuse. Incidents will be investigated thoroughly and sensitively and we will help people get the support they need”
“There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria; everything from counselling to rehoming support in addition to many other services available nationally. As the Police, we can help you access these support services and we will support you though any court process.”
“Support is also available for anyone who recognises their behaviour towards a partner or family member is inappropriate. It is important to understand why this may be happening so people can get the help they need. This could be financial advice, support around substance or alcohol misuse or, emotional health and wellbeing”.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall commented: “Domestic abuse is a particularly nasty crime, what we’re actually talking about is very unpleasant bullying, and I hope by now that people realise the police and indeed other agencies take it very seriously .
“Nationally we see a spike in domestic abuse around the festive season but every member of the public should know that if they suffer or witness abuse, there are services available to help them in their area.
“In Cumbria I fund Victim Support, they can help with all types of crime, there are three excellent women’s centres in Carlisle, Barrow and Whitehaven, and the sexual assault referral centre is also available for anyone who is looking for support – all details can be found on www.cumbriatogether.com.
“I would always urge anyone who has fallen victim to domestic abuse to report it to the Police, I understand this is not an option for everyone which is why it’s so important that these other services are available.
“Do not suffer in silence, you do not just have to put up with it – if you are in an abusive relationship please reach out for help.”
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this in the safety of your local police station, online here, or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
You can access support services regardless of if you have reported a crime to the police. To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0808 1689 111 or visit the Cumbria Together website.