Make the new year a new start

02 Jan 2015 14:30 PM

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Police are urging victims of domestic violence to make the new year a new start.

Now Christmas is over and the new year underway, police are appealing to victims to make a resolution that could save theirs and their children's lives by walking away from an abusive relationship.

The plea comes as part of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner supported police campaign 'Children can learn from example' tackling all forms of domestic violence and focusing on the effects it has on young people growing up in an environment where they witness it.

Superintendent Lisa Orchard said: "The festive period can be a difficult time for those suffering from abuse. Violence can quite often escalate at this time of year and a lots of victims choose to stay as they don't want to uproot theirs or their children's lives during Christmas.

"Some victims think things will get better in the new year so suffer the abuse over this time.

"However, we want victims to know police and support agencies are here to help them take the first step to changing, or even saving their lives and protecting their children from any further harm.

"Regardless of whether a child has been physically abused, witnessing violent behaviour in their home by seeing it, hearing it or just noticing signs of injury, will have a profound affect on them.

"We're committed to doing all we can to ensure offenders are put before the courts. It's also important that victims know help is available even if they don't wish to prosecute.

"We work very closely with other agencies and our partners raising awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and linking in with them to help provide victims with a wide range of support.

"We know abuse happens in every part of our communities regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography. It's simply unacceptable and we will take action against these offenders."

Vera Baird, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "It's important that any victim of domestic abuse and violence knows there is help and support for them whenever they choose to seek it.

"There is a network of help and support which my office and the police are a part of in the Northumbria region and I'd urge anyone to take that first step to safety for themselves and their families."

Anyone suffering abuse can call 0800 066 5555 for independent and confidential advice.

To change abusive behaviour, call Respect on 0808 802 4040.

View the full news release