Devon and Cornwall Police are reminding people that domestic abuse can happen to anyone and although Valentine’s Day is associated with love and romance, for some, it can prove a traumatic time of year.
The Force is running its ‘Is This Love?’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of the different aspects of abuse – emotional, financial, physical, and sexual.
Domestic abuse is the cruel misuse of power and control by one person over another. It can begin at any time, can be obvious or subtle and can happen suddenly or gradually.
Detective Chief Inspector John Trott, from the Public Protection Unit, said: “Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of class, age, race, religion, culture, disability, sexual orientation or lifestyle. We are reminding people there is help and advice out there for them.
“Domestic abuse is a Force priority and over the past 12 months we have put together some initiatives to improve safeguarding of victims and the investigation of incidents. One example of this is the extra funding we’ve put into protecting victims with personal house alarms (triggering an instant police response).
Volume Crime Reduction Sergeant Richard Crosby said: “Domestic abuse is a nasty and pernicious crime. Around 75% of our alarm equipment – of which we have several hundred units – is used to combat such abuse with over 95% of our victims being female. Whilst the majority of our victims need home protection, we also offer tracking alarm technology for those who require it. The equipment we use will send help literally within seconds of the button being pressed. The administration we use is very efficient and all installers are trained in line with Home Office guidelines.
“Be assured that the Devon and Cornwall Police has invested, and continue to invest wisely, to maintain a cost effective system that is probably the best in the country. This investment goes as far as making it mandatory for all installer staff to attend a domestic abuse awareness course. Speaking personally and for my installers, it gives us great job satisfaction to know that what we do saves vulnerable people from serious harm. I would urge all those who are victims of such abuse and haven’t come forward to do so. You will be supported. I also have a simple message for perpetrators – you will be caught and subject to the full extent of the law.”
If you have been affected by domestic abuse and need help – in an emergency call 999, for non-emergencies call 101, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/safeguarding-links/domestic-abuse/
For help and support
- Devon Domestic Abuse Services Support (Splitz) – 0345 155 1074
- 24-hour National Domestic Violence Free phone Helpline – 0808 2000 247