Suffolk police urge victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 11:45 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 22 December 2017
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Suffolk police is reminding the public that although domestic abuse can increase at this time of year, no-one need suffer in silence.
The message comes as part of the force’s seasonal campaign to deliver a safer Christmas in the county.
For some, Christmas can be one of the most fearful times of the year and more than 830 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to police in December last year.
Tensions over money, unrealistic expectations about having the “perfect” Christmas, combined with excessive alcohol and being cooped up in close quarters all exert extra pressure on relationships.
Victims can be male or female, as can perpetrators, although the majority of victims are female and most perpetrators are male.
As well as asking victims to come forward themselves, police are urging relatives and friends to look out for the signs of domestic abuse and report it. Police say doing this could make a difference in ensuring a safer Christmas for everyone.
Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: “Domestic abuse sadly takes place every day and can be very frightening, affecting people regardless of age, gender, race and sexuality.
“The aim of our Christmas campaign is to make victims aware that it is not their fault, that they are not alone and they can take steps to stop the abuse.
“I understand that taking that first step and telling somebody what is happening can often be very difficult but police will be able to offer advice and support to help domestic abuse victims.
“We also work closely with partner agencies as we understand that people don’t always want to approach police.
“If you are experiencing domestic violence, or know someone who is, please report it and help us keep communities safer.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime – it ruins the lives of victims and has a devastating impact on their families, particularly because children often suffer the consequences as well.
“No-one should have to live with the fear of violence or controlling behaviour, especially at home.
“I find it particularly sad that there is often an increase in the number of cases of domestic abuse at this time of the year and many victims endure tremendous suffering in silence which is totally unacceptable.
“We have invested large sums of money to help support the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice - no longer do victims have to suffer in silence.
“I’d like to encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to seek advice by contacting Lighthouse Women’s Aid on 01473 745 111 or the police on 101 or in an emergency, 999.”
For more information on examples of domestic abuse, visit the Suffolk Constabulary website.