Police campaign warns domestic abuse never acceptable ahead of World Cup and Christmas

There are five categories of domestic abuse, including physical abuse, controlling behaviour, coercive behaviour, financial abuse and psychological abuse Credit: PA Images.

Cumbria Police is sending a clear message that domestic abuse offences will not be tolerated ahead of the World Cup and the festive season.

Officers will be stressing victims should never be alone and highlighting the support services available during a campaign launched on Thursday 17 November, ahead of what is expected to be a busy period for policing and the public.

The World Cup starts on Sunday and for the first time, as it is usually staged in the summer, it will run into the festive season.

The weeks covering major football tournaments and the Christmas period tend to lead to increase in reports of domestic abuse, when alcohol-fuelled nights out, the stresses of this time of year and inflamed emotions arise.

Officers want people to know that there is support available and that victims don’t have to suffer in silence.

Those who commit abuse are also being encouraged to face up to their responsibilities and seek help.

Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop is a senior officer within public protection at Cumbria Police.

He said: “Neither football nor Christmas are a cause of domestic abuse.

“But environments involving high emotions and alcohol consumption can sometimes lead to violent or abusive behaviour.

“This year’s World Cup comes at an unusual time and will run straight into one of the busiest times of the year for many of us, including our night-time economy areas, with people visiting bars, restaurants and nightspots more frequently.

“We want everyone to enjoy both the football and all the good things the festive season can offer.

“But nobody should ever have to suffer domestic abuse - and if you’re scared, there is help out there.

“Tackling these awful crimes and safeguarding vulnerable people is a key priority for us.

“We take reports seriously and we treat all cases with sensitivity.

“If you are suffering, please get in touch. We are here to help and support you. Even if right now you only have questions, I would urge you to contact us.”

During the last 12 months, Cumbria Police has:

  • Secured 56 Domestic Violence Protection Orders through Cumbrian courts. These orders are vital to give victims space from their abuser and allow services to provide enhanced support.

  • Continued to run Operation DART, targeting the most prolific domestic abuse offenders to reduce their reoffending rates.

  • Joined forces with We Protect. This forms part of the Domestic Abuse Alliance, a free service that provides victims of domestic abuse with legal advice, in 95% of cases contacting the victim within 24 hours. They issue warning letters to offenders and apply for injunctions on their behalf.

DCI Yallop added: “We saw the country get together and celebrate the amazing success of the England Lionesses this summer, when they were crowned European champions.

“It would be amazing to see something similar happen again. But we want the beautiful side of the game to be seen, not the ugly results of people losing their tempers and taking out frustrations on loved ones.

“Domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people are priorities for us and this will not change during this tournament.”

DCI Yallop added: “Getting the right support can empower someone to take their next positive step forward.

“There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria; everything from counselling to rehoming, in addition to many other services available nationally. 

“This could be financial advice, support around substance or alcohol misuse or emotional health and wellbeing.

“As the police, we can help you access these support services.

“Support is also available for anyone who recognises their behaviour towards a partner or family member is inappropriate. 

“It is important to understand why this may be happening so people can get the help they need.”

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to appeal to potential offenders to stop and think about the harm they are doing to a family member, loved one or ex-partner.

“This type of abuse and offending will never be tolerated and they have to realise it is their responsibility and there is never an excuse.

“However, with the support of our partners we will work with offenders who face up to their responsibilities to address their behaviour to stop the cycle of repeat offending.”

Advice and help for those who want to put their offending behind them is available through the national Respect phoneline on 0808 8024040

DCI Yallop added: “These services can be important in helping perpetrators address what may be underlying causes of their behaviour, such as drug or alcohol abuse or mental health issues.

“We would urge people who are carrying out this type of behaviour to think about what they are doing, stop - and seek help.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “The festive season is meant to be a time of joy and this year, with the World Cup on at the same time, these celebrations could well be doubled in the build up to Christmas.

“However, sometimes such emotionally charged occasions can lead to intimidating, aggressive and even violent outbursts, which is completely unacceptable.

“When out and about, everyone has the right to feel safe and this should not have to depend upon the outcome of a football game or if they are surrounded by fellow revellers that have had too much to drink.

“Sadly, such heightened frustrations and excessive drinking can also be linked with increases in domestic abuse incidents and the message is clear – there is and will never be, any excuse for abuse.

“If you have been or believe you will be a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out to the police- they are there to help.

“However, I understand that this is not an option for everyone. If this is the case, there are multiple victims services that can provide support without reporting to the police.

“Victim support Cumbria can be reached on 0300 303 0157. The national 24/7 helpline is 0808 1689 111. There is also a dedicated live chat online for those who may not be able to speak at www.victimsupport.org.uk.

“Women’s Community Matters in Barrow can also support women with multiple issues such as domestic abuse and housing and can be reached on 01229 311102. Gateway 4 Women in Carlisle provides similar services and their number is 01228 212090.The Freedom Project in West Cumbria also supports those who have experienced domestic abuse and can be contacted on 07712 117986.

“I would urge anyone who has suffered from domestic abuse to reach out for help – you are not alone, please don’t suffer in silence.” 

There are five categories of domestic abuse:

Physical abuse.

Controlling behaviour. This is where someone controls areas of the victim’s life. This can include controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.

Coercive behaviour. This is where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells.

Financial abuse. This is where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others. This is also a form of controlling behaviour.

Psychological abuse. This is where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mindset of the victim.

You can access support services regardless of whether you have reported a crime to the police.

To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0808 1689 111 or click here

A round-up of services:

Domestic Abuse Partnerships emergency accommodation. In an emergency, please contact your local borough council.

Copeland: Housing.options@copeland.gov.uk / 01946 598300 24 hours

Allerdale: homelessness@allerdale.gov.uk  / 01900 702660 or 0303 123 1702 out of hours

Carlisle: dutytorefer@carlisle.gov.uk / 01228 817200 office hours. Out of hours 01228 817386 (single women and families scheme) and 01228 817373 (single men’s scheme)

Barrow: dutytorefer@barrowbc.gov.uk office hours only / office hours 01229 876599 or out of hours 01229 833311

Eden: housingoptions@edenha.org.uk / office hours 01768 861499 or out of hours 0800 0614232

South Lakeland: homeless@southlakeland.gov.uk / office hours 01539 733 333 / 01539 793199 Kendal and eastern area 0870 428 6905. Lakes, Ulverston and Western Area 0870 428 6906

Local support services:

Gateway 4 Women (Carlisle) 01228 212090 admin@cumbriagateway.co.uk

Women Out West (Whitehaven) 01946 550103 / 07516 416040 contactus@womenoutwest.co.uk

Women Community Matters (Barrow) 01229 311102 reception@womenscommunitymatters.org

Freedom Project (West Cumbria) for women and men affected by domestic abuse - 01900 671167 / 07712 117986 hope@freedom-project-westcumbria.org.uk

Springfield (South Lakeland). Refuge support takes referrals nationwide. Community based support also available 01539 726171 cs@springfieldsupport.org or refuge@springfieldsupport.org

Cumbria-wide services:

Cumbria Victim Support 0300 3030 157 (local) Monday - Friday 9.00am - 6.00pm and 24/7 Support Line 0808 1689 111 / cumbria.admin@victimsupport.org.uk

Safety Net for women and men affected by domestic abuse - 01228 515859   

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