PCC speaks about Domestic Abuse at Teesside University today
To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8th March police and local services will work together to raise awareness of domestic violence and offer support to families.
Nationally, two women per week in the UK are killed as a result of domestic abuse – each of the four districts in the Force area of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland will be hosting an event in their town to highlight the issue with each platform hosting two life-size cardboard cut outs to represent the national statistics – each will be covered with news stories which have made the headlines.
Throughout the campaign up to 100 properties will be visited to follow up on recent domestic violence incidents and offer support.
Research shows that victims of domestic and sexual violence across the Cleveland area are predominantly women - with younger women at greatest risk in both domestic and sexual violence.
Throughout 2012 there were 13, 281 incidents of domestic violence reported to police - this is an 11% reduction on 2011. 52% of these crimes were detected and the offender was either given a caution or charged to court. This is a clear indication that victims are gaining confidence in reporting crime and the support they are given enables them to see the perpetrators brought to justice.
Victims of rape or sexual assault across the Cleveland area can access support and advice from Helen Britton House which is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Victims can access SARC services, without reporting to the police, on 01642 516888.
Cleveland Police received 237 reports of rape during 2012.
Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Jacqui Cheer said: “Domestic abuse comes in various guises ranging from emotional domestic abuse and controlling behaviour through to physical assaults, rape and sexual violence. This campaign is to raise awareness that whatever form the abuse takes, it is not acceptable and help is available.”
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger added: “I have made clear that one of the top priorities has to be ensuring that we do everything to support victims of crime—and those who suffer domestic abuse, in whatever form, need to know that they can get help and, if they do contact the police, they will be taken seriously.
“The message I hope we can get across is that the more victims who are prepared to come forward, the better the chance that the police and other organisations can help them, and the greater the chance of those who carry out abuse understanding that they will pay a heavy price.”
Lesley Gibson, Chief Executive of Harbour Support Services which provides services across Cleveland and the north east, spoke as a representative of the many voluntary sector organisations working with domestic abuse victims: “It is important that we use International Women’s Day to remind the public that thousands of women in our region experience abuse every day. They need to know that someone will listen to them and can help them to live free of abuse.”
Harbour can be contacted on 0845 602 7308.
Posted on Thursday 7th March 2013