Civic leaders from across Greater Manchester have signed a promise to take a stand against domestic abuse.
All nine local authority leaders, Salford’s Mayor, GMP’s Chief Constable and the Chair of Greater Manchester Fire Authority joined the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner and his deputy to sign the promise.
It comes at the end of an awareness month spearheaded by Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd to raise awareness on the issue and encourage victims to seek help and support.
Greater Manchester Police dealt with 60,464 cases of domestic abuse in the 12 months to September – an increase of 1,715 compared with the previous year. While an increase in incidents suggests that more people are coming forward to report domestic abuse, there are still many cases that go unreported.
One in four women will experience domestic abuse – and two women are killed each week at the hands of their partner. But domestic violence doesn’t discriminate – in 13% of reports to police the victim is a man, and that’s thought to be vastly underreported.
Throughout November, a series of events and announcements were made to raise awareness of domestic violence and demonstrate some of the work that is taking place across Greater Manchester to protect and support victims.
- An innovative scheme launched to place Victim Support specialists in A&E departments to support victims when they come to hospital
- A week of action by Greater Manchester Police and partner agencies to target persistent offenders
- A special parliamentary-style forum on domestic abuse bringing together police, victims, the court service and others to assess the victim’s “journey” through the criminal justice system to see how things can be improved
- An announcement that Clare’s Law, piloted in Greater Manchester, will be rolled out nationwide
- Councils across Greater Manchester debating the issue
- Young people learning about the signs of domestic abuse and what they can do to challenge it
- A call to members of the public to sign up to a commitment to say no to domestic abuse
And the work doesn’t end now – next week Tony opens a new unit to tackle domestic abuse in Wigan which will bring together council and police to work together in a new integrated unit. More Greater Manchester councils will debate the issue in the coming months, and it’s hoped that all agencies will work together to produce a charter for victims of domestic abuse so they can know what they can expect if they have the courage to come forward and report.
Tony Lloyd said: “I hope the activity we’ve done over the past month will give victims the confidence to come forward and report domestic abuse. Help is out there – please get it. You don’t need to suffer in silence. I promise you: you are not alone.”
If you, or someone you know, has suffered domestic violence, help is available. Visit www.endthefear.co.uk for more information or call Greater Manchester’s domestic violence helpline on 0161 636 7525.
If there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, dial 999.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, or Clare’s Law, can be used by anyone concerned over a partner’s abusive behaviour or those concerned about a friend or family member in a relationship and at risk of violence by their partner. For further information or to make a request for information under it, contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or visit a police station.
You can still sign Tony’s promise to take a stand against domestic violence. Visit www.gmpcc.org.uk/endthefear and sign up today.