Domestic abuse: There is never an excuse - police

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 December 2012

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POLICE are urging people to be more aware of domestic abuse this Christmas as part of an ongoing campaign over the festive holidays.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary dealt with more than 8,000 reports of domestic violence in the area between October 2011 and September this year – and the force is now highlighting the problem as part of its Have The Christmas You Deserve campaign.

Detective Inspector Katie Boxer, from the force’s public protection unit, said: “People sometimes suspect their neighbour, colleague, friend or relative has become a victim of domestic violence but don’t think it is their place to interfere.

“We want to hear from you if you have any concerns about anyone you know.

“It could prevent further harm to the individual and their children, while also protecting any potential future partners of the offender and the wider community.”

Police said domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Women and men can fall victim to violence perpetrated by family members as well as partners - when teenagers or young adults are violent to members of their own family, for example.

DI Boxer added: “We know almost one in five domestic abusers go on to commit offences against their next partner and offenders are likely to offend outside the home as well.

“Our main aim is to educate people about the signs of domestic abuse. There is no excuse and we need your help to stop it.”

Police issued a list of types of domestic abuse for the public to look out for, including destructive criticism such as mocking, shouting and name-calling, pressure tactics like withholding money, disconnecting phones, taking a car or children away or threatening a report to welfare agencies.

Disrespect, harassment, threats, sexual or physical violence and denying that any abusive behaviour has happened are also forms of domestic abuse. To see the full checklist, go to www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

To report abuse, call the independent domestic abuse helpline on 0800 6949999 or call police on 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.

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