According to Women's Aid figures domestic violence accounts for one in ten emergency calls and up to a quarter of all recorded violent crime. In our second special report on domestic violence this week, Sarah Saunders, has been out on the beat with Sussex Police.
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.
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.
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
Surrey Police are holding events across the county offering domestic abuse victims advice and support.
The theme for the week is ‘Healthy Relationships’ prompting people to choose the words that best describe their relationship.
Descriptions like controlling, dishonest or pressurised can be a sign that the relationship is less healthy and could later involve sexual or physical violence.
– Jon Savell, Detective Superintendent at Surrey Police
It is a sad fact that Surrey Police gets approximately a thousand reports a month relating to domestic abuse. That being said, I would like more people to report domestic abuse, if they are experiencing it. Domestic abuse is socially unacceptable and no one should have to experience abuse at the hands of their partner. The police’s role is to protect the lives of both adults and children who are at risk as a result of domestic abuse; and investigate all reports of domestic abuse thoroughly.”
With more than 12,000 domestic abuse incidents reported in 2012, Surrey residents are asked to think about their personal relationships this week, in an attempt to spot the signs of a relationship that could turn abusive.
Heather Edwards went to meet one victim of domestic abuse.
A campaign is being launched today encouraging anyone in Wiltshire, affected by domestic abuse, to speak out. Between April 2012 and March this year there were nearly 4,000 incidents reported to Wiltshire Police.
A charity set up in memory of a mother and son who were shot dead at their home in Berkshire has won government backing. The 'Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse' **was established by Julia Pemberton's brother, when she and her son William were killed by her estranged husband in 2003.
You can find out about the charity by clicking here.
A victim of domestic violence who was seriously sexually assaulted was "gravely let down" after a 999 call handler from Hampshire Constabulary told her she didn't need the police. The woman called 999 in February and was transferred to a Hampshire Police control room.
Her call was abandoned, but the telephone operator said that a struggle and a man arguing could be heard. Around 15 minutes later, a control room supervisor called the woman back and told her "you don't need the police", and asked a series of 'closed' questions.
The IPCC found that intelligence checks on the woman's name, address and telephone number were not carried out - despite entries on the call log to say that they had been. If these checks had been done, they would have revealed that the woman was suffering domestic violence.
Officers in Dorset are urging the victims of domestic violence not to suffer in silence during the Euro 2012 football tournament. The force say they see a rise in cases during major events and that they have specially trained constables to deal with incidents.