Break the silence on domestic abuse – that’s the message from Herts police as they urge victims to speak out to help the experts bring an end to their ordeals.
The force’s community safety unit is getting behind the Association of Chief Police Officers domestic abuse awareness week which begins today.
Along with other agencies, they are supporting a ‘break the silence’ event and issuing key messages about abuse every day.
Throughout the week key messages and information on different aspects of domestic violence will be issued through the force’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Items will include looking at what constitutes coercive behaviour in more detail, a victim’s account, and what is being done to help both victims and perpetrators – including the introduction of a new award-winning scheme aimed at those who commit domestic abuse.
North Herts College in Stevenage is hosting an event on Wednesday followed by a an hour-long march through the town centre which will aim to ‘make noise and break the silence on domestic abuse.’
Students will be bringing along posters and banners and wearing shirts displaying awareness messages.
Sarah Taylor, the safety unit’s programme manager for domestic abuse said: “Every day many people across the county and nationally are suffering from domestic abuse.
“We very much welcome the ACPO IN Focus Domestic Abuse awareness week as it gives us a further opportunity to raise awareness of this crime and to stop more people from becoming victims.
“Some victims may not even realise they are being subjected to abuse – but they feel confused and depressed and know something is not quite right.
“We want to let them know that support is available via the helpline on 08 088 088 088 and the website at www.hertssunflower.org.”
The community safety unit brings together professionals from the county council’s former crime and drugs strategy unit and the police.
The new unit – the first of its kind in the country – has more than 120 staff working in four key areas: vulnerable people, which includes domestic violence, safeguarding adults and child protection; offender management, involving the support of Hertfordshire Probation Service and safer communities, which takes responsibility for work around anti-social behaviour and alcohol misuse and the county drug strategy.