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Police launch week of activities to encourage reporting of domestic abuse


Avon and Somerset Force Crest

Avon and Somerset Police are giving people an insight into the work they do to tackle domestic abuse as part of a national awareness week.

This week (25-29 Nov) the police will be running several activities to enable people to find out more about the force's domestic abuse investigation teams and related services, as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week.

The activities will include a webchat for people to ask questions they might have about the issue, a chance to find out more about the types of cases officers deal with on an average shift, and a check-in with a member of staff that heads up one of the force's specialist safeguarding teams.

On Monday (25 Nov), Natalie Steadman, who works with multi agency partners to enhance the safety of victims and their families, will provide an online look at the work of herself and her team by taking over the @ASPoliceLIVE twitter account from 2.30pm.

On Thursday (28 Nov), there will be a webchat from 12pm to 1pm with Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe.  An Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (who supports victims of domestic abuse through any investigation) and a domestic abuse survivor will also be taking part.

On Friday (29 Nov), there will be a live twitter feed from 6pm onwards to highlight the types of cases reported to the police during that period and the actions taken by police in relation to these.

ACC Louisa Rolfe said: "During the week we are aiming to turn the spotlight on this area of policing to make people more aware of the work that takes place and to help encourage people to report domestic abuse.

"Domestic abuse can have a devastating effect on the victim. Victims of abuse often become isolated from friends, family and support and are more likely to suffer with poor health or mental health and to be homeless, or have an overwhelming fear of becoming so due to a 'reliance' on their partner for financial support.

"We want to encourage people to have the confidence to contact the police and take the first steps to tackling this abuse. Over the course of the week we will be hosting a range of information on our website as well as running the webchat and twitter feeds so we would encourage people to take a look, get in touch if they have questions for the police, and encourage others to visit the website as well."

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Domestic abuse is taken extremely seriously across Avon and Somerset and I want victims to know when they approach the police or any other agency that they will be believed, understood and taken seriously.
"For me, a crucial step in tackling domestic abuse is to give confidence to victims to come forward and seek justice. Bringing about awareness of this through the various activities taking place in the force area this week, through the media and through hearing from victims will hopefully both increase reporting and let victims know that there are services out there that can help."
For more information about the activities running during the week visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

To report abuse call the police on 999 or non-emergency number 101 or, if you'd prefer to speak to someone else about this before speaking to the police, call the independent domestic abuse freephone service on 0800 69 49 999.

Posted on Monday 25th November 2013
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