Norfolk police urge domestic Abuse victims to speak out
- Credit: Archant
Officers are urging victims of domestic abuse in Norfolk to speak out and seek help on the back of an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the issue.
Today (Friday) marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Norfolk Constabulary is committed to tackling such an offence and is using the occasion to highlight the consequences domestic abuse can have on people of all ages and how they can seek help.
Detective Superintendent Julie Wvendth, of Norfolk Constabulary’s Safeguarding and Investigations Command, said: “We do not underestimate how difficult it can be for people to speak out about being a victim of such violence or witnessing it direct, but it is crucial they are aware of what constitutes abuse and the help which is available to them.
“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable, regardless of age, and no victim need suffer in silence at the hands of their tormentors.”
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The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to raise public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.
It coincides with *White Ribbon Day and comes only five months after the county’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Board launched a new domestic abuse campaign - #IWalkedAway.
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As well as supporting the nationwide campaign Norfolk Constabulary continues to remain committed to tackling such abuse with a number of projects including;
• Hundreds of schoolchildren have benefitted from workshops aimed at promoting healthy relationships.
• Working in partnership with local community groups, teachers and healthcare staff to increase third party reporting of domestic and sexual abuse among young people.
• Creation of a series of multi-lingual posters to spread the ‘healthy relationship’ message to migrant communities with artwork translated into languages including Latvian, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian and Portuguese.
• From December 29 2015 a specific offence of “coercive or controlling behaviour “ was added to *The Serious Crime Act 2015. The Constabulary created a video with ‘Kate’ who took the courage to speak out about her experience in a bid to help others. See: http://www.norfolk.police.uk/advice/victims-witnesses/case-studies
Since June 2014 the Constabulary has been implementing the use of Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders **(DVPN/Os) which provide victims with immediate protection in the aftermath of a domestic abuse incident and the time to consider any next steps.
So far this year (January 1 to November 8 2016) some 19 DVPNs have been served in Norfolk resulting in 18 being successfully converted to DVPOs by the courts.
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, said: “This Friday, individuals, groups and agencies across the county will stand together in saying no to domestic abuse. To perpetrators, we’re sending the message that abuse will not be tolerated. To victims, we say you are entitled to better; I’m saying life can be better.
“As your PCC, I pledge to you that I will do everything within my means to prevent this abuse and ensure that help and support is available to you. We have a police service which is committed to helping you. We have a fantastic support organisation in this county. There are options out there for you – take that step and reach out for support.”
For more information/advice on Domestic Abuse visit: http://www.norfolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats/domestic-abuse