Tuesday, June 11, 2018
A new campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and promote the help and support available to those affected by it has been launched by Northamptonshire Police.
The #getsafestaysafe campaign aims to encourage those who are experiencing abuse to report it and get the support they need. It also seeks to remind people that domestic abuse isn’t only about violence and can take many forms, including financial or emotional abuse, harassment, manipulation and other controlling and coercive behaviour.
Across the county, police officers are called to more than 10,000 domestic abuse related incidents each year. While many of these are dealt with by local response officers, the Force also has a dedicated Domestic Abuse Prevention and Investigation Team (DAPIT), headed by Detective Chief Inspector Richard Tompkins.
He is keen to reassure people that domestic abuse is a priority for the Force and that help and support is only a phone call away.
He said: “Domestic abuse can be physical or psychological and affects women, men and children, from all walks of life. While it can happen at any time, certain events and holidays can be a trigger.
“During the Euro 2016 football tournament, we saw an increase of 16 per cent in domestic incidents compared to the same period in the previous year. With the FIFA World Cup taking place over the next few weeks, it’s a good opportunity to remind people of the support available to those experiencing abuse, reassure them we take it extremely seriously and encourage them to take the first steps to getting safe.”
The Force also works closely with a range of organisations that provide specialist support to victims of domestic abuse, such as the Sunflower Centre, Voice Northants, the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) and Women’s Aid. While officers would always encourage people to report incidents to the police, victims can access these agencies directly if they wish, whether or not the police are involved.
DCI Tompkins added: “Not everyone will feel comfortable contacting the police, and it may take many incidents of abuse before victims seek help. I’d like to reassure them that we will provide as much assistance as possible, prioritising their safety, making a criminal complaint or finding support from a partner organisation.
“Our primary aim in any domestic abuse case is to make sure that the victim is safe. Once that has happened we can work with them to see if a criminal case can be pursued and bring the offender to justice.”
“All forms of domestic abuse are taken extremely seriously and I would urge anyone experiencing violent or emotional abuse, or anyone who is concerned about a friend or family member, to report it so we can provide the support they need and deserve.
For more information about domestic abuse and the support available, visit www.northants.police.uk/staysafe. The #getsafestaysafe campaign, which is supported by Voice, Sunflower Centre and NDAS, will be promoted through social media during June and July.