Don’t Suffer in Silence – Support for People Suffering Domestic Abuse
Support is available for people suffering domestic abuse across the county. Last week’s announcement of the 25% increase in people calling the National Domestic Abuse helpline was a stark reminder that people are still suffering domestic abuse. Whilst crime statistics in Cumbria do not show an increase in reported incidents of domestic abuse to the police, it is still predicted that cases linked to the Coronavirus lockdown will rise during the coming weeks.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall comments: “I urge anyone experiencing domestic abuse to get in touch with the support services available in the county and nationally, you will be heard, you will be listened to and you will be supported.
“We have not experienced a recorded rise in domestic abuse over the last few weeks and I hope this reflects reality. It would be naive not to consider there may be unreported cases and one case is one too many.
“We must all work together to protect each other and ourselves. If you are concerned about friends or family and suspect domestic abuse, then it is important that you report. It is only by supporting each other that we will make a difference and end suffering in silence.
“A vital part of my role is to commission local support services for women, children and men experiencing domestic abuse. Since the start of the Coronavirus, we have been working with our commissioning partners to ensure that victims are still able to get local help and support, whether or not they have been in contact with the police.
“Victims of domestic abuse need to know how and where they can access local support during isolation as the lockdown around COVID-19 continues.
Dan St Quintin, Detective Chief Inspector comments: “Domestic abuse is likely to have increased during the lockdown phase that has rightly been implemented.
“My concern is that domestic abuse has become more hidden and it is not being reported.
“My clear message to everyone is that for Cumbria Constabulary, it is business as usual for domestic abuse. Regardless of Coronavirus, domestic abuse will always remain a key priority.
“I urge anyone who is being abused to report it. If you have concerns for a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague, please report your concerns so we can keep people safe and put a stop to the abuse.
“The constabulary is good at dealing with domestic abuse. We have specially trained officers and staff who will take your report seriously, ensure you are kept safe and investigate what you tell us. Please come forward.”
Claire Powell, Area Manager at Victim Support comments: “This is a very challenging time for everyone, but in particular we are concerned about the impact on people who are living with domestic abuse. Spending more time with the perpetrator may lead to increased levels of abuse.
“We want people to know that they do have choices and options. If it is difficult to pick up a phone, people can contact us through our Live Chat service between 9am – 6pm and we have staff available 24/7 on our Supportline 08 08 16 89 111. If you are worried about your neighbour, family member or friend, you can also call us for advice or contact the police in an emergency. ”