Domestic abuse has NO HOME HERE
As part of North Yorkshire Police's new "NO HOME HERE" campaign to help protect vulnerable victims of crime, the festive month of December will see a focus on domestic abuse.
This strand of the tackling community harm campaign will raise awareness about this often-hidden away crime that is sometimes perceived to be socially embarrassing for the victims.
It has long been established that the additional pressures of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve period can put extra strain on already deteriorated relationships.
Sadly, this can result in damaging outbursts of emotional and physical abuse.
In October and November 2016, the total number of Domestic Abuse crimes was 859. In December 2016 and January 2017, the total rose by more than 2% to 878 – an increase of 19 crimes.
The intention is to highlight the patterns of behaviour of both the victims of domestic abuse, and those responsible for the harm to the wider community.
Online and media publicity is being used to promote the campaign, including targeted leaflets and posters at hairdressers and beauty salons, pubs, shops, mechanics and taxi drivers – the very people who may come into contact with both victims and offenders.
With this increased awareness to spot the tell-tale signs, North Yorkshire Police is calling upon everybody in the local community to be extra vigilant and report incidents of suspected domestic abuse all-year-round.
If victims do not want to involve the police, they can still seek confidential professional help and support from IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service that has offices across North Yorkshire. Their 24 hour helpline is 03000 110 110 orvisit the website for essential help and advice.
Victims can also receive information and support from Supporting Victims, a North Yorkshire–based service put in place by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Call 01609643100 to access the necessary level of support that’s right for you or visit www.supportingvictims.org
If you are concerned that you or a friend or family member may be at risk of domestic abuse, then you are also urged to contact the police and ask about Claire’s Law (also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme).
Named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009, this legislation came into force across England and Wales in March 2014.
Clare was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend at her home in Greater Manchester. He had a history of domestic abuse – but Clare was unaware of it.
The scheme aims to protect those vulnerable to domestic abuse by disclosing information about someone’s partner if there are concerns around him or her being violent.
There are two elements to the scheme:
‘The Right to Ask’ – where any concerned person (current partner, family member, professional person or next door neighbour) can make enquiries to the police about a current relationship if they have concerns about a person.
‘The Right to Know’ – where the police are in receipt of information about a previously violent individual who may cause harm to another, proactive consideration will be given as to whether a disclosure is required, where necessary, to protect a potential victim, even where the person who they are seeking to protect has not asked for such information The Right to Ask is what people need to know about and use to make sure we tackle any concerns you have to make sure your friends, family, colleagues or you are kept safe from harm.
If police checks show that your partner or a friend’s partner has a record of violent behaviour, or there is other information to indicate that any children may be at risk, the police will consider sharing this information with you.
Dial 101 and ask about Claire’s Law (the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme) or visit the website : www.northyorkshire.police.uk – just click “What we do”, “Tackling crime” and then “Crimes against the person”.
Victims can also receive information and support from Supporting Victims, a North Yorkshire–based service put in place by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Call 01609 643100 to access the necessary level of support that’s right for you or visitwww.supportingvictims.org
Domestic abuse: A devastating crime that everyone can help tackle
Detective Chief Inspector Allan Harder, of North Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Command, said:
“Domestic abuse is a truly devastating crime that causes great suffering and long-term anguish for victims.
“From past experience, the police and our partner organisations know that the number of incidents increases over the festive season. This is often down to financial pressures, the stress of Christmas and excess alcohol and drug-misuse.
“But to be absolutely clear, there is never an excuse for such terrible behaviour at any time of the year.”
DCI Harder added: “We also know that many incidents of domestic abuse are never reported to the police. North Yorkshire Police wants victims to feel confident enough to report these crimes in the knowledge they will receive the help they so desperately need.
“While we will continue our efforts to reach-out to victims directly, the ‘NO HOME HERE’ campaign provides a timely opportunity for people in the local community to make a real difference and help put an end to the suffering of victims.
“If there is someone you know who is being abused, or you regularly see someone who appears fearful of their partner or other family members who they live with, it is important that you report it without delay to the police or through the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.
“There is also a range of professional and confidential support available for victims who feel they do not yet have the strength to come forward to the police. These organisations include IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service, and Supporting Victims which are both based in North Yorkshire.
“To the victims out there who are too afraid to seek help, I say this: Please don’t suffer in silence. We are all here to help you.”
Potential tell-tale signs of domestic abuse
Do you have a relative, friend, colleague or neighbour who you think may be in an abusive relationship?
Here are some potential tell-tale signs to watch for:
- Bruises or injuries that look like they came from choking, punching or being thrown to the ground. Black eyes, red or purple marks at the neck, and sprained wrists are common injuries in violent relationships
- Attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing
- Making excuses for injuries such as tripping over or being accident-prone or clumsy – often the seriousness of the injury does not match up with the explanation
- Having few close friends and being isolated from relatives and colleagues and kept from making new friends
- Having to ask permission to meet, talk with or do things with other people
- Having little cash available and no access to bank or credit cards or even a car
- Having low self-esteem; being extremely apologetic and meek
- Referring to the partner’s temper but not disclosing the extent of the abuse
- Having a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness or hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities
- Talking about suicide, attempting suicide, or showing other warning signs of suicide. Encourage this person to seek medical help and support
Do you suspect someone is abusing their partner? These are some of the key signs to look out for before you decide to report them:
- They make threats and do things just to frighten their partner
- They put their partner down just to make them feel bad when they are alone or around friends
- They make their partner feel guilty if they don’t spend time with them
- They make no effort to get on with their partner’s friends or family
- They hit, slap or push their partner
- They look through their partner’s phone, social media or web history
- They want to know where their partner is all the time
- They cheat on their partner or accuse them of cheating
- They steal from their partner or make them buy things for their own use
- They make their partner have sex when they don’t want to
Remember, there is NO HOME HERE for domestic abuse – you can make it stop!