Domestic violence increases in Suffolk

THERE have been 15 reports of domestic violence in Suffolk every day for the first nine months of the financial year, latest figures show.The number of people who claim to have been abused by their partners between April and December last year is 4,099 - 455 a month.

THERE have been 15 reports of domestic violence in Suffolk every day for the first nine months of the financial year, latest figures show.

The number of people who claim to have been abused by their partners between April and December last year is 4,099 - 455 a month.

This is broadly in line with the 2006/07 figure of 5,319 and the total for 2005/06, which stands at 5,532.

Of these 2,226 (41.8per cent) were “repeat” callers and reported more than one incident of domestic violence against them in 06/07, while this number was 2,084 (37.7pc) in 05/06.


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Marianne Fellowes, Suffolk domestic violence projects manager, said 07/08 had seen a 20pc increase in the number of men reporting incidents of abuse as a result of high profile campaigns to raise awareness.

“When I first took over in 2002 there were 2,433 incidents reported,” she said.

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“Over time that has grown and for the last three years it has flattened around the 5,500 figure.

“The initial increases in the number of incidents reflect initiatives with the aim of increasing reporting and a slight change in the way crimes are recorded.

“More people coming forward is a good thing that we would obviously encourage. However what we want is to reduce the percentage of people who are subjected to an assault following a disclosure - the 'repeat' callers.

“One thing to bear in mind though is that it could be the first time a person has called in Suffolk but because they have been subject to abuse in another county they are recorded as a 'repeat'.”

The figures come after Duncan Mills, 32, of London Road, Ipswich, was found guilty of murdering his month-old son Luigi on May 26 last year as well as battering the tot's mother Samantha Askew the same day.

During the case it emerged Suffolk County Council social workers had been in contact with Miss Askew over concerns she was a victim of domestic abuse but Luigi was deemed to be “well cared” for and no action was taken.

A statutory report on how the issue was dealt with - a Serious Case Review - has been drafted by Suffolk's Safeguarding Children Board but social care bosses have refused to give out the details until they have met to discuss them.

Mrs Fellowes, who is based at Suffolk police headquarters, said there was support on offer for victims, children and families as well as people who were carrying out the abuse.

“This can be physical or emotional and refer to either men or women,” she said. “We have a number of support services including emergency refuges, police victim care centres, initiatives with partner agencies including peer support groups, support for parents and children (between the age of five and 13 years old), routine screening by midwives and health visitors and early intervention group work for abusers.”

For more information visit www.breakthepattern.org.uk or call the 24 hour helpline on 0800 7835121.

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