Success in domestic courts

NEARLY 90 per cent of domestic violence cases going through the courts in Suffolk result in positive convictions, latest figures reveal today.

NEARLY 90 per cent of domestic violence cases going through the courts in Suffolk result in positive convictions, latest figures reveal today.

Ipswich's specialist domestic violence court, which was launched in April 2007, saw 88.7 per cent of cases resulting in successful outcomes between July and September this year, which means there was a guilty plea and conviction.

There has also been a definite increase in the number of successful convictions across the whole of Suffolk. In 2005/06 69.9 per cent of cases had a successful outcome, but two years on, this has increased to 82.6 per cent.

The figures have been revealed as the national anti-domestic violence White Ribbon campaign comes to an end next week.

The 16-day campaign, which focused on gender violence, ends next Wednesday on Human Rights Day.

Paula Abrahams, Suffolk's chief crown prosecutor and chair of the Suffolk Criminal Justice Board, said: “Domestic violence is a devastating crime and we are doing our best to provide victims across the county with the support they need to come forward and help us bring these perpetrators to justice.

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“We know this approach is working-the number of successful prosecutions continues to rise year on year and this year is no exception.”

Marianne Fellowes, county domestic violence projects manager, added: “When an individual is a victim of domestic abuse their access to information and support can be limited by the member of family, partner or ex-partner that is abusing them.

“They often keep silent about the abuse they are suffering. However, family members or friends or members of a social group often suspect or know abuse is occurring. This campaign is one of many ways in which Suffolk Constabulary and partner agencies work together to break this silence, to encourage people to report, and to let people know that support is available.”

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse there is a 24-hour helpline 0800 7835121 or log on to www.breakthepattern.org.uk

Have you ever been a victim of abuse and want to tell your story anonymously? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.