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Assault victim encourages others to report abuse

A woman who was abused by her ex-partner has decided to tell her story to encourage other victims to report abuse.

Joy Sayers, 38, from Penrith was abused by her ex-partner. She was left with facial bruising, loss of hair, scratches and grazes to her arms, legs and forehead.

“I would like to encourage anyone who has experienced domestic abuse to come forward so that they can seek justice, and hopefully reduce the risk of it happening to another woman.

“The violence was awful, but the hardest part for me has been the aftermath. Some people in Penrith have accused me of lying and a number of so called friends have taken his side. I never expected this kind of reaction to being assaulted, and the last few months have been incredibly difficult for me.

“However I was determined to see him prosecuted as what he did to me was completely wrong, particularly as our young sons were in the house at the time. Although I would never say anything negative to them about their father, it is important to me that they do not grow up believing that violence is acceptable.

“This is the first time I have ever experienced anything like this – the physical violence was completely out of the blue. It was such a shock and I was really scared to talk to the police about it. However I would like to urge women in a similar position to report violence in the home as no one should have to accept it as part of their life.”

– Joy Sayers, Victim
Joy wants to prevent this from happening to others Credit: Cumbria Police

In March the incident was reported to Cumbria Police by a member of the public.

Since then her ex-partner Michael Jacques, 50, from Penrith, has been sentenced to 140 days in prison, which has been suspended for 12 months. He must pay £150 compensation, £190 court costs and complete 60 hours community service.

“I am pleased that Jacques has been punished for his actions. Domestic violence will not be tolerated in Cumbria – no one should have to live in fear in their own homes. I would encourage anyone who has any concerns to get in touch; all reports will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.”

– DC Cath McFadden, Cumbria Police

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Domestic violence 'will not be tolerated'

Cumbria Police isworking to reduce the number of domestic violence incidents during this year's World Cup. Research shows that during major football tournaments domestic violence can increase.

Research released as part of the Woman's Aid campaign showed that across England during the 2010 World Cup:

  • Domestic violence increased by 27.7 per cent when England beat Slovenia 1-0.
  • Household violence increased by 31.5 per cent when England were knocked out losing 4-1 to Germany.

“It is a sad fact that historically, domestic violence increases during such events as the World Cup. Therefore putting in place schemes such as these is to be welcomed. I believe we must all do what we can to reinforce the message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and in order to achieve this partners and agencies, along with Cumbria Constabulary, must work together to reach as many groups as possible.”

– Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner

Crackdown on domestic violence during World Cup

Cumbria Police say they will be running a crackdown on domestic violence during the World Cup.

When the tournament was last staged back in 2010, reported incidents doubled during the course of the competition compared with the same period of time the previous year.

The force says that domestic violence will not be tolerated, and they are working with a wide range of support services to provide help for victims.

Cumbria sees a rise in domestic violence

A report for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria has concluded more needs to be done to help victims of domestic violence.

In the UK a quarter of all women will be the victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.

In Cumbria there were more than 6,500 incidents in the last year alone.

That's a rise of 1.6% on the previous twelve months.

The man who commissioned the report is Cumbria's crime commissioner Richard Rhodes.

Earlier Pam Royle asked him why domestic violence is an increasing problem in the county.

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Domestic Violence contact numbers

If you or someone you know are the victims of domestic abuse there are people to turn to if you need help.

The police can be contacted on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Charities that can help include

Refuge - Freephone 0808 2000 247

Safety Net - 01228 515859

Let Go - North Office (Carlisle) - 01228 633640

West Office (Workington) – 01900 842991 & 01900 842992

South Office (Ulverston) – 01229 582386

Carlisle Key - 01228 595566

Domestic violence is rising in Cumbria

Domestic violence is increasing year on year in Cumbria.

A report from Cumbria police highlights that the number of alcohol related domestic violence incidents in particular rose over the festive period last year.

“We work every year to highlight and showcase the ways in which victims of domestic violence can get help. Seeing an increase in the number of reports does not mean that it is not being tackled, it shows that people want to report it.

“It is a fact that domestic violence can be chronically under-reported so although an increase in violence of any kind is very worrying, the rise in the number of incidents we recorded may also be encouraging if it meant that more people had the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help."

– Detective Superintendent Mike Forrester

Last year Cumbria Police’s Crime Prevention Officersvisited 267 high risk victims of domestic abuse across the county, to helpensure they were as safe as possible from further attack.

This work is known as the “Sanctuary Scheme”. It was carried out in partnership with Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and housing providers, so that families who are living in fear can have the reassurance of a level of security that will afford them some protection.

“I welcome the fact that there have been more reports of domestic violence showing that victims are willing to come forward.

"However, I am extremely disappointed that these latest set of figures show how much domestic violence is alcohol related there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. It is only by us all working together that we will make a difference.”

– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner
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