1. ITV Report

Domestic abuse crack-down launched in Wirral

A unique new campaign aimed at women who have been suffering domestic abuse during the school summer holidays is being launched in Wirral.

Research shows that reports of domestic abuse to the police and support agencies increase when the children are back in school.

Experts believe that women delay reporting what has been done to them in order to keep the family together during what are perceived to be 'family times of year' like school holidays and Christmas.

The campaign, which is being launched jointly by Merseyside Police and Wirral Council, aims to encourage women to break free from abusive, damaging or controlling relationships by seeking help from the council's Family Safety Unit or the police.

Giant billboards promoting the helpline that women can call will line major arterial roads in the borough and posters will be put up in public places.

Domestic abuse is a serious crime and can have tragic consequences. My team of officers on are on hand to take all reports seriously, to listen compassionately to what women tell them and to put the perpetrators of the abuse before the courts so that it can be stopped.

– Detective Inspector Rachel Wilson from Wirral CID's family crime investigation unit

A focus group of women in Wirral who have survived abusive relationships were consulted about what they felt other women needed to know about domestic abuse and this focus group influenced the images and words used in the campaign.

The campaign includes a video from a local mother of two. She sought help from the Family Safety Unit when she was abused by a man she had thought was 'perfect'.