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Valentine's initiative to help families

PUBLISHED: 14:07 13 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

FOR many years domestic violence was a problem swept neatly under the carpet.

But tomorrow more than 50 people will gather to come up with long term solutions to tackle the problem blighting the Suffolk Coastal District.

FOR many years domestic violence was a problem swept neatly under the carpet.

But tomorrow more than 50 people will gather to come up with long term solutions to tackle the problem blighting the Suffolk Coastal District.

In the region around ten per cent of last year's reported crimes were those of domestic violence.

Although it still falls below the national average, police, social services, education, health services and voluntary groups are pulling together to tackle the problem.

The district is well known for being a safe place to live with a crime rate that is half the national average.

But with 250 reports of domestic violence in the final six months of last year officials have decided that something has to be done.

Anne Day, chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Domestic Violence Network, points out that only one in ten incidents are actually reported.

Mrs Day said: "Every three days in the UK a woman dies as the result of domestic violence.

"We want to ensure that support, help and advice are available locally to keep women and children safe."

Tomorrow representatives authorities across the county will meet at Suffolk Constabulary's Martlesham headquarters where they will from a survivor of domestic violence as well as speaker Glenna Trout who has extensive experience of domestic violence issues in this country and America.

Mrs Day said: "This will be an opportunity to find out how we can take positive action to offer support to those suffering from domestic violence and also meet the longer-term goal of preventing it happening in future generations.

"Violence in the home usually but not always sees women as the victim.

"For years it was an ignored crime, but times have changed and people should be assured that our police are treating it seriously."

It is hoped that the day long conference will put into action a strategy which will include making it easier for victims to report incidents and ensure that support is there as well as taking actions against the perpetrators.

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