Cambridgeshire Constabulary is supporting a national campaign to end domestic violence.
25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as well as White Ribbon Day. From today, running until Human Rights Day on 10 December, the force will be supporting the 16 Days of Action to End Domestic Violence campaign.
As part of the 16 days, the constabulary will be raising awareness of the devastating impact of domestic abuse, as well as the support available to those who are suffering or concerned about a loved one.
Between April and October this year, the force recorded 7,196 domestic abuse crimes, a 22.9% increase compared to the same time last year, reflecting a year-on-year increase in reports over the past five years.
A key aim for this campaign will be encouraging victims and witnesses to continue reporting abuse. As part of this, the various methods of reaching out will be promoted in a special bid to target those who are suffering alone and behind closed doors during lockdown.
Detective Superintendent John Massey, head of the force’s Protecting Vulnerable People Department, said: “As we go through a second national lockdown there will be victims out there feeling more alone and terrified than ever. Home should be a place of safety but heartbreakingly, for many, it will currently feel like a prison.
“We have seen reports of domestic abuse steadily increase over the past few years due to a number of factors including online crime reporting. However, I completely appreciate that victims may find it harder than ever to speak out and escape abusers during this time. But I want to stress we are here to help and are working around the clock to keep victims safe.
“Throughout the campaign we will be highlighting on social media all the discreet ways of reaching out so victims can still contact us if they are stuck at home with an abuser.
“As well as this, we’ll be urging worried family, friends or neighbours to report their concerns and be the voice for a victim who may be feeling powerless.
“Lastly, I want to appeal to victims directly to say that you do not have to suffer in silence. There is no excuse for abuse and we, alongside other dedicated partner agencies, will be here to keep you safe and support you along the way.”
Det Supt Massey and Cambridgeshire’s Acting Police and Crime Commissioner Ray Bisby are joining thousands across the country in making the ‘White Ribbon Day Promise’ – to never commit, excuse or remain silent about domestic violence. They are encouraging others across the Cambridgeshire to do the same.
Mr Bisby added: “While the Coronavirus health emergency continues to impact on all of us, for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, lockdown restrictions are particularly distressing. I want to reassure victims that support services are open and available throughout lockdown.
“There are lots of specialist services available locally to victims and their families which can be found at www.cambsvictimservices.co.uk but remember that the Victim and Witness Hub are on hand to provide support also.”
The force will be hosting its monthly live domestic abuse related Facebook question and answer session on Friday (27 November). Any victims or concerned loved ones are encouraged to join the hour-long event at 5.45pm where any questions they have can be posted. A team of safeguarding experts will respond straight away.
Source: Cambs.police.uk website.