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New figures reveal high level of domestic violence in the south east

New figures seen by ITV regional news reveal that many people in the South East are experiencing domestic violence.

Over the past year, the National Domestic Violence Helpline received more than 3,000 calls from people in our region, while more than 400 women and children here, are currently being supported by the Refuge charity.

Refuge says many of us don't realise how prevalent domestic violence is, which is why it's organised a charity march to try to raise awareness.

Lauren Hall reports.

Police target domestic abuse over Christmas

One in four women, and one in six men, will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives. And violence in the home often peaks over the Christmas period.

Now, one police force in our region is visiting those feared to be most at risk and stepping up its reponse to incidents.

Malcolm Shaw has joined officers in Sussex to see how they're protecting victims and preventing abuse.

Are you concerned about domestic abuse? Click here.

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Clare's Law to protect domestic violence victims

Hampshire Police have revealed a successful start for a new law that allows the public to uncover information on their partner's domestic violence history.

Clare's Law was developed after the death of Clare Wood - who was murdered by her former boyfriend in 2009.

Also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, it gives the public a formal ways t request information about their partner's past.

If they have a history of violence, the police can disclose information in order to protect people at risk.

Since it was introduced last month, Hampshire Police have received 16 requests for information and this has seen five disclosures to potential victims.

Three potential victims even chose not to continue with the relationship after meeting with police.

At the heart of the scheme is our commitment to improving our ability to identify and protect people who are most vulnerable to a significant risk of domestic abuse. In doing so, we are then able to work with our partners to ensure that person is protected from any further abuse, prevent crime and reduce reoffending. By disclosing information, the scheme aims to give people at risk, their friends, family or carers, for example, the ability to make an informed choice on whether to continue the relationship and provide support whatever the decision."

– Ben Snuggs, Superintendent at Hampshire Police

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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Reaching out to domestic abuse victims

Sussex Police says it's receiving at least 40 new calls a day from victims of domestic abuse, but that there are more people out there, suffering in silence.

Now, the force has launched a White Ribbon Campaign to highlight the issue. Sarah Saunders has been speaking to one victim who found the courage to speak out. If you are affected by domestic abuse click here for help and information.

"Don't suffer in silence"

Nearly a million women every year experience domestic violence. And Sussex Police receive a staggering 40 calls about domestic abuse every single day.

But they still believe women are suffering in silence and this week they have launched a White Ribbon Campaign encouraging more women to come forward. Heather Holden from Eastbourne was attacked by her husband.

Detective Constable Jamie Pooley from Sussex Police says specialist officers are ready to help. For help call the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk.

Help available for victims of domestic violence

An event is taking place in Maidstone today to raise awareness of the help available in Kent to protect victims of domestic violence. Several agencies and authorities will attend the event at Kent Police College.

It will coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is also supported by the Bishop of Rochester

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