Friends and family urged to report domestic abuse concerns

Alert message sent 11/02/2021 15:10:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

As victims experience further isolation with their abusers, Wiltshire Police are calling on friends and family members to report domestic abuse concerns in a new audio campaign.

Victims of abuse are experiencing extended periods of isolation with their abusers during lockdown and police are concerned that it’s harder for victims to seek help.

Mirroring a picture we are seeing nationally, Wiltshire saw a drop in domestic abuse related crimes being reported, with 534 in the month of January 2021, down 10 per cent on December and the second lowest month we have seen since the first lockdown.

The campaign will reach people in their homes using adverts to target people through radio, their smart speakers and Spotify.

Head of public protection, Det Supt Ben Mant said: “Domestic abuse doesn’t stop because we’re in lockdown, in fact we expect that victims will be suffering now more than ever.

“We know that restrictions make it harder for victims to seek help, so we’re asking friends and family to stand up to domestic abuse and seek help on their behalf.

“During the first lockdown last March we saw an initial drop in reports and then a steady increase but we haven’t seen that so far during this lockdown.

“Instead our current numbers are lower than we would expect for this time of year and are 10% lower than what we saw in December.”

Police continue to work with partners, including Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council to protect victims of abuse and support them in escaping their abuser.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson added: “Using different audio channels this campaign will signpost concerned friends and family members to either report their concerns to Wiltshire police or seek advice from either Swindon Domestic Abuse Service or Splitz who supports victims in Wiltshire.

“It’s important to remember that domestic abuse can take many forms, it’s not always physical and can affect anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age and relationship status. It can happen between family members as well as romantic relationships.”

Those with concerns are encouraged to contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, people in Swindon can contact Swindon Domestic Abuse Service by calling 01793 610610 any time of day, and those in Wiltshire can contact Splitz Support Service on 01225 775276 weekdays and the Swindon service during evenings and weekends.

Message sent by
Zara Hughes (OPCC, Campaign & Communication Manager, Wiltshire)

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