Northumbria join Dame Vera to 'Say No More to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault'
23 May 2018 13:00 PM[View Full Size]
Police are urging the public to stand up and 'Say No More' as part of a national campaign to stop domestic violence and sexual assault.
Crime figures from the end of last year showed there were 1.9 million reports from victims of domestic abuse across the UK last year.
The figures also showed victims could be from any demographic and that 522,000 victims were actually male.
Domestic abuse can be physical but it may take other forms whether that be verbal abuse or coercive control.
Police are receiving more cases of victims being controlled financially or through the threat of taking away access to children.
It is a complex issue and Northumbria Police say the victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault are some of the most vulnerable in society.
Now the Force have joined Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC in backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
They are calling on officers, staff, partners and the general public to take a stand and 'Say No More to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault'.
‘UK Say No More Week' is an annual awareness week that has been running for two years and aims to help provide victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
It also focuses on sexual assault and the impact that has on victims who are often too scared to report their abuse.
By using the hashtag #WhatCanIDo it is hoped that awareness can be raised around the issues and victims will have more confidence to contact police.
Northumbria Police's Assistant Chief Constable, Rachel Bacon, has today said anyone who reports abuse to police will receive specialist support.
He said: "Safeguarding vulnerable victims of domestic abuse and putting their perpetrators before the court is one of our top priorities.
"We receive calls every single day from victims of domestic abuse and it is a real problem in our society.
"Nobody should be controlled by a partner or relative and this campaign is about encouraging people from all walks of life to take a stand against domestic abuse.
“It is also really important that we remember this awareness week also addresses the devastating impact that sexual assault can have on a woman, child and man.
“Sexual violence can take place in a domestic setting but you could also be targeted by a stranger or someone you have recently met.
“If you do not give consent to sexual activity, or if you are not able to do so, then that is a sexual assault and the police can do something about it.
"Everyone can contribute to ending this type of offending, whether it is talking about it among friends or supporting someone you know to be a victim.
"If you are a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault then please don’t suffer in silence. I want all victims to know that we are here for you and want to help.
"Any form of abuse in unacceptable and under the banner of Sanctuary we will offer victims the support they need."
Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, said: “Domestic violence and sexual crimes have to stop.
“We must recognise that domestic abuse can take many forms; it isn’t just physical, it can be economic, sexual, psychological and emotional.
“Sexual crimes can be hugely damaging and undermining and are about the exercise of power against the will of another person, just like domestic abuse.
“Northumbria officers are here to support all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, whether it has happened by someone you know or by a stranger. You will be heard and you will be helped.
"Abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. These crimes don’t just affect one type of person and can long lasting effects on victims and their lives.
"We have a responsibility to tackle domestic violence and sexual assault, raise awareness and together, with our partners, make sure every victim is heard and supported.
“Here in Northumbria we say NO MORE.”
Northumbria Police are showing support for the week by using the hashtag #WhatICanDo – follow @northumbriapol to watch a number of videos backing the week. You can also visit the campaign website here: www.uksaysnomore.org/
For more information about domestic abuse visit www.northumbria.police.uk. For independent and confidential advice call Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116. For help to change your behaviour, call Respect on 0808 802 4040.
To contact Northumbria Police to report a crime call 101 or 999 in an emergency.