Domestic violence on rise in Suffolk

Incidents of domestic violence in Suffolk are at five year high, worrying figures revealed today.

SUFFOLK: Incidents of domestic violence in Suffolk are at five year high, worrying figures revealed today.

Since 2004, police have dealt with 32,997 cases in Suffolk - more than 7,000 of which involved men.

However, statistics obtained by The Evening Star show that the volume of domestic abuse offences has increased by more than a thousand in 12 months - from 5,492 in 2007/08 to 6,552 in 2008/09.

Today, during national Domestic Violence Awareness Week, victims were urged to not suffer in silence.

The annual awareness campaign began on Monday and ends on Sunday - with the aim of highlighting the importance of reporting abuse.

Earlier this week, women in Ipswich were given the opportunity to find out more when a stall was set up in the town's Tower Ramparts shopping centre.

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Sally Glen, chief executive of Ipswich Women's Aid (IWA), said: “We believe it is really important for women and children experiencing domestic violence to be supported by a specialist service where consistency is provided.

“Because of low self esteem and feelings of shame and guilt, it takes a long time for a woman to build trust with her support worker and the organisation supporting her.

“IWA is the only provider of hostel accommodation in Ipswich which provides support, specifically for women and children fleeing domestic violence.”

IWA refuges accommodate women aged 16 and over - offering them a place to recover from the traumatic effects of violence.

In 2008/09, more than 210 women and children were housed by the IWA. The organisation received 591 helpline calls from the area.

Statistics reveal that in the UK, one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

For more information on Women's Aid visit www.womensaid.org.uk or call the Ipswich branch on 01473 745111.

Have you been a victim of domestic abuse? Tell us your story - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Suffolk victims of domestic violence:

Domestic Abuse Cases Female Victims Male Victims Unknown Victims

2004/05 5722 4091 1341 290

2005/06 5685 4147 1287 251

2006/07 5450 4110 1147 193

2007/08 5492 4069 1252 171

2008/09 6552 4897 1458 197

2009 (so far) 4096 3079 904 113

TOTALS: 32997 24393 7389 1215

Fast Facts: Domestic violence in the UK

One in four women will be victim to domestic violence in their lifetime

One in six men experience domestic violence in their lifetime

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute

On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner

At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence

The estimated total cost of domestic violence to society is �23billion per year

Domestic violence includes destructive criticism, verbal abuse, pressure tactics, threats, isolation, disrespect, harassment and sexual and physical violence