|End the fear
A borough-wide campaign to ‘end the fear’ of domestic abuse will take place next week.
The campaign coincides with Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd’s month-long quest to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
To support the commissioner’s mission and raise awareness locally, Wigan Council’s safer community team and the police will work together to focus their activities on catching perpetrators, while encouraging victims to speak out.
Officers will visit the borough’s schools, children’s centres, Wigan Youth Zone and local hospitals to help children and parents spot the early signs of abuse, as well as signposting them to the help available. They’ll also be using intelligence to target repeat offenders, arresting them where necessary or supporting them to change their ways.
The recently appointed Young Person’s Violence Advocate (DPVA) will be on hand throughout the week, working with young people at risk of interpersonal abusive relationships.
In Wigan, Greater Manchester Police dealt with 6,592 cases of domestic abuse in the 12 months to September – an increase of 70 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.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for safer communities at Wigan Council, said: “Unfortunately domestic abuse affects a lot of people and this approach is about working together to put an end to the abuse once and for all. If you or someone you know is suffering in silence, please speak up, there are people out there who can help.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine, Head of the Public Protection Division said: "Over the Christmas period we historically see an increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents and we are expecting to see a rise again this year.
"This is due to heightened family tensions, unrealistic expectations and worries about finances, which when fuelled by excessive drinking, can lead to an increase in the number and severity of attacks.
"We will be targeting the abusers and using all the powers in place to us to remove them from the home. Whether a victim feels able to complain or not, we can provide them with the space to gain the strength and confidence away from their abuser to consider their choices.
"We would encourage anyone suffering abuse to report it and get the help and support to stop it as in many cases it does escalate - it very rarely stops."
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.