Police launch anti-domestic abuse campaign

Domestic abuse campaign Photo: PA

Lancashire police has launched a week-long campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Starting today, the In Focus - Domestic Abuse behaviour initiative is part of a national campaign, which will see police forces across the country highlighting how they work to tackle domestic abuse.

During the week, the Constabulary will be alerting the public about what domestic abuse is, the tell-tale signs and how to get the help they require.

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley from Lancashire Constabulary's Public Protection Unit said, "We know that many people assume that domestic abuse is just about violence, but it covers any type of physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence and control.

"We want people to know that this often hidden crime can affect anyone, regardless of social background, age, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnic background. It can happen to anyone from any community and in any walk of life. Domestic abuse doesn't differentiate by class or sexual persuasion."

Throughout the awareness week, tweets and Facebook messages will feature on the Constabulary's accounts - @lancspolice and www.facebook.com/lancspolice - which link in with the current 'Take the Step' campaign being promoted by Lancashire Constabulary and the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, aimed at signposting domestic abuse victims to the assistance they require. All the messages will feature the hashtag #takethestep.

There are already various ways that Lancashire officers and partner agencies work to protect victims and also assist perpetrators in helping them to stop their violent, controlling behaviour.

DCI Cawley continued: "In order to educate and assist victims and offenders, a multi-agency input is extremely important to address the reasons for the abuse, and to break the cycle."

Within each policing division, there are dedicated domestic abuse teams that investigate these types of incidents and safeguard high risk victims.**

Work is additionally underway with offenders in Preston and Blackpool where pilot schemes are in place to help domestic violence offenders identify their triggers and change their behaviour.*

In the past year, there has been a slight reduction in reports of domestic abuse-related incidents with 4,912 reports between April 2013 to January 2014, compared to 5,001 incidents reported to police between April 2013 to January 2013. **

At the end of the awareness week, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, more widely known as 'Clare's Law' will launch in Lancashire to coincide with International Women's Day. This will allow members of the public to formally enquire about someone that they are in an intimate relationship with, or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be abusive.