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Support is available for those affected by domestic abuse in Cumbria

Cumbria police are raising awareness of the support services available to victims and those affected by domestic abuse in Cumbria.

Details for free specialist support services and how the public can access them independently, will be promoted on the force’s social media accounts during December and the Christmas period.

Every day in Cumbria, the police received an average of 17 reports of incidents of domestic abuse. Reports have reduced by over 10% year on year and police believed this area of crime is significantly under reported.

The campaign will also encourage reporting, raise awareness of domestic abuse offences and highlight the unseen policing working undertaken every day in Cumbria to end domestic abuse.

In the last year Cumbria police have been behind:

· More than 600 prosecutions of domestic violence offences.

· The issuing of nearly 70 domestic violence protection orders.

· The implementation and enforcement of more than 200 restraining orders.

Working with partner agencies and the criminal justice system, Cumbria police take reports of domestic abuse seriously. All crimes reported will be duly investigated by officers and, where appropriate, the victim will be safeguarded. Victims are also kept updated with their investigation in line with the Victims’ Code of Practice.

There are five areas which domestic abuse is categorised into:

1) Controlling behaviour, where a perpetrator controls areas of the victim’s life. This can include: controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.

2) Coercive behaviour, where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells all the time.

3) Financial abuse, where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others. This is also a form of controlling behaviour.

4) Psychological abuse, where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mind set of the victim.

5) Physical abuse. Due to many factors, cases of domestic abuse commonly increase in December. The Constabulary’s campaign is set to send a clear message to victims: There is support available for you.

Force lead for domestic abuse, Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop said:

“Running this awareness campaign, highlighting support services to the public, is vital. People need to know that they do have places that they can turn to for help and they need to know how to access them.

“Getting the right support can empower a person to take their next positive step forward. Please do not suffer in silence.

“Domestic abuse is a crime and will not be tolerated. We want to encourage victims to report abuse.  Incidents will be investigated thoroughly and sensitively, and we will help people get the support they need.”

“There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria; everything from counselling to rehoming support in addition to many other services available nationally.  As the Police, we can help you access these support services and we will support you though any court process.”

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this in the safety of your local police station, online here: www.cumbria.police.uk/reportit or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

You can access support services regardless of if you have reported a crime to the police. To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0300 303 0157 or visit the Cumbria Together website www.cumbriatogether.com.