Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on communities to stand together and say no to domestic violence.
One in four women will become a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime and two women die each week at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. Men are also affected – 13% of victims in Greater Manchester are men, although this percentage is likely to be significantly lower than the actual incidence.
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.
Tony Lloyd said: “These figures should shock us all into making a stand against domestic violence if we are serious about ridding society of this crime which has untold, long-lasting effects on victims and their children.
“While the increase in reporting suggests that more people have the confidence to come forward, there are still too many victims suffering in silence. We all have a responsibility as decent human beings – whether a friend, relative, teacher, neighbour, doctor – to speak out for victims and stand up against the perpetrators.”
Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley, who is responsible for Greater Manchester’s Public Protection Division added: “We are hugely supportive of the Commissioner’s focus on tackling domestic abuse. This month of action will create yet more opportunities for us to reach people suffering from abuse at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. We can then do everything within our power to protect people, stop the abuse and bring offenders to justice.”
Throughout November, Tony will be encouraging people to report domestic abuse and raise awareness of the services and support available to victims, including the establishment of Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors and the introduction of Clare’s Law. He is also encouraging councillors, MPs, partner agencies and local people to sign a promise to work together to say no to domestic abuse.
You can sign up to the promise on our website – gmpcc.org.uk/endthefear
Tony will be visiting refuges, support groups and organisations to see some of the work that is going on to support victims of domestic abuse.
Greater Manchester Police, victim support services, the Crown Prosecution service and other agencies will also be giving evidence on how they are tackling the issue are a series of hearings throughout the month, culminating in a parliamentary select committee-style public forum where the evidence will be presented and recommendations made on how to improve services.
“All agencies – police, CPS, courts, councils, victim services – need to work together to do the very best for victims,” adds Tony. “They have the right to expect a minimum standard from all parts of the criminal justice system and that is something, as Police and Crime Commissioner and the voice of local people, I’m challenging all partner agencies to deliver.”
ACC Copley added: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime and a priority for us all. We have teams of specially trained officers who have chosen to work in this area because they really do care. We are constantly looking for ways to improve what we do, by listening to what victims tell us. This month we will be targeting abusers. Using powers in place from the domestic violence protection orders pilot, we will take attackers out of the home, whether a victim feels able to complain or not and provide victims with the space to gain strength and confidence away from their abuser. We will also be using technology to help us fight abuse, by providing some our most vulnerable with phone apps that can alert and direct us to them should they need us.”
If you, or someone you know, has suffered domestic violence, help is available. Visit 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.