Domestic abuse can impact on many people’s lives, with up to one in four women and one in six men being affected.
It is often referred to as the hidden crime as victims are often fearful of reporting what is happening to them. They rarely even tell family and friends.
Between April 2010 and March 2011 there were 4,532 domestic abuse incidences reported to Wiltshire Police.
That is why it is so important to remind people that there is help out there and that they should not to suffer in silence, but speak out.
Domestic Abuse Awareness Week takes place in Wiltshire and Swindon from 21- 25 November.
On Monday (21 November) there is a DA awareness session at the Steam Museum in Swindon organised by the Swindon Mindful Employer Network which is managed locally by Richmond Fellowship Wiltshire.
Swindon Community Safety Partnership and the charity Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse are also involved.
Posters will be displayed and white ribbons will be available in the council hubs throughout Wiltshire and Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury libraries.
In Wiltshire, domestic abuse professionals and voluntary workers will be taking part in an awareness walk through Trowbridge on Monday. This will be followed by a soup lunch, hosted by the Safer Communities and Licensing Team, which will raise funds for the Children in Need appeal, who have provided our local domestic abuse charities with various funding over the years.
The week’s activities finish with a conference on Friday 25 November in Bradford on Avon at which Chief Constable Brian Moore will be among the speakers.
Mr Moore was asked by the Home Secretary to review the safety of victims of domestic abuse. His research led, in July 2011, to a 12-month pilot, involving Wiltshire and two other forces, of Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders (DVPNs/DVPOs) under which magistrates can ban a perpetrator from a victim’s home for up to 28 days.
Mr Moore will also be appearing live on Mark O’Donnell’s mid morning show on BBC Wiltshire on 25 November to explain how his officers are working to improve the safety of victims.
How prevalent is domestic abuse in Wiltshire?
- Only one in five incidents will actually get reported to the police. So, with 4,532 incidents reported over 12 months, the projected volume of domestic abuse in Wiltshire could be in excess of 22,000.
- Domestic Abuse has the highest repeat victimisation rate of any crime, with around 25 per cent of incidents reported being a repeat.
- In 2010-11 there were 4,324 Violent Crimes recorded in Wiltshire (local authority area only), of which 1,200 were attributable to domestic abuse (28 per cent), higher than the national average of 25 per cent.
- Around 50 per cent of referrals received to children and families are related to domestic abuse.
This year, Wiltshire Council is supporting Recipes from the Heart, a cookbook created by the Wiltshire Phoenix Group, a survivor’s forum for domestic abuse victims.
The foreword to this cookery book has been written by Mary Berry, one of the UK’s best known cookery writers.
The cook book can be purchased for £5 (plus p&p). If you would like a copy please email Alison Crook email@example.com
If you are or know someone who is living with the effects of domestic abuse, please speak out and seek support. Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 2000 247 (freephone in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge) or www.speakoutwiltshire.com in an emergency please call 999.
You can also find useful information on the Swindon Community Safety Partnership website.