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Police Campaign to Stop Heartbreak for Domestic Abuse Victims this Valentine’s Day
Monday 9th February, 2009

Police Campaign to Stop Heartbreak for Domestic Abuse Victims this Valentine’s Day

Police in Wigan are launching an awareness week to help stop the heartbreak for domestic abuse victims and their families this Valentine’s Day.

Each month there are more than 600 domestic-related incidents* reported to the police across Wigan – that’s more than 20 a day and almost one every hour.

“As Valentine’s Day approaches people are thinking about their relationship, and so we want to urge those suffering at the hands of abusive partners to report it now and get the help and support they need before it’s too late. There are people in Wigan at risk of losing their lives as a consequence of such abuse,” said Detective Inspector Gareth Hughes of Wigan division’s Public Protection Investigations Unit.

As part of the awareness campaign, a hard-hitting and emotive TV advert will be shown on Channel M and on the skyscraper-screen in Piccadilly from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 February. The 60-second advert highlights the effect of domestic abuse on a female victim and her daughter.

Detective Inspector Hughes added: “We want the advert to show that domestic abuse is not acceptable under any circumstances and that victims need to come forward to report it to us not only for themselves but for the sake of their children.

“Victims will be supported from the initial report and throughout the whole process by trained and experienced specialist domestic abuse investigators who are available across the borough.

“Futhermore, we can now act on information from family and friends and all evidence from the scene of an incident is fully recorded so that a criminal prosecution does not rely solely on the victim’s evidence. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wigan is recognised nationally for its pioneering work in this field, and together with the CPS and Wigan Magistrates’ Court we are at the forefront of supporting victims. All those affected by abuse can be assured that the service they will receive is driven by professionals who care about them.”

To contact your local domestic abuse unit call the GMP switchboard on 0161 872 5050.

In an emergency where there is an immediate threat to life or property, always call 999.

There are also a number of statutory and voluntary organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse. Victim Support and Witness Service, Women’s Aid, WAVE and DIAS all have services specifically for people in Wigan.

In addition, people can contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if they suspect a family member, friend or neighbour is suffering from domestic abuse.

The NSPCC Childline Service is available for children who need help on 0800 11 11 and Action on Elder Abuse also have a helpline for older people who are suffering on 0808 808 8141.

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