11:00 Friday 13 December 2013

Bid to try and end rise in festive abuse

Written byROB SMYTH

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A CAMPAIGN to try to tackle domestic abuse in South Derbyshire during Christmas has been launched.

Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire County Council are teaming up to offer domestic abuse victims the support they need and to raise awareness of the problem.

The campaign, called the 12 days of Christmas, highlights the fact that victims can experience all types of abuse – including physical, financial and psychological.

Inspector Andrea Parkin, from Derbyshire Police, said: “The Christmas period is a time for the family, with the focus on giving and sharing.

“However, in some families Christmas is a time of fear and violence.

“We are hoping to raise the profile of domestic abuse and encourage victims to get help.

“If they don’t want to contact the police, they can ring the helpline for advice.”

In December 2012, there were 1,563 domestic violence incidents recorded in Derbyshire.

This was a 5.8 per cent increase on December 2011 and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to an average month.

However in South Derbyshire police chiefs, who said that the number of incidents had risen by around five per cent, told the Mail that this could be a sign that more victims were starting to come forward.

Posters encouraging people to seek help are going on display across the south of the county in places such as pubs, bars and doctors’ surgeries during the festive season.

Derbyshire County Council deputy cabinet member for health and communities, Paul Smith, said: “We often see a rise in domestic abuse at busy family times such as Christmas when emotional tensions can be heightened and want victims to be reassured professional support is available at the end of a phone.

“Domestic abuse may be an offence which happens behind closed doors but we don’t want anyone to have to suffer in silence.”

Anyone who needs help or support should call 08000 198668

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