Blowing the whistle on domestic abuse is focus of new campaign in North East
'Let's blow the whistle on domestic abuse' - that's the message from Northumbria Police, Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and local partners this summer.
As part of their latest campaign, the force aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to increase the confidence of people who are suffering domestic abuse or suspect they know someone who is a victim, to come forward and get help.
Nationally, research suggests that at times of major sporting events, there can be a rise in incidents of domestic abuse and with the summer of sport ahead, Northumbria Police is reminding everyone that if we think someone might be suffering at the hands of an abuser, we must raise the alarm.
Ms Baird said: "We all need to open our eyes to domestic abuse - that's why this campaign is designed to speak to everyone - mums and dads, brothers and sisters, friends, neighbours, workmates and so on. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and it can happen at any time - during sporting events and beyond. What's important is that we recognise we all have a role to play spotting the signs and speaking out.
"Let's be clear - sport does not cause of domestic abuse and neither does alcohol. However, for those who have abusive tendencies, major sporting events can provide conditions of heightened emotion and increased alcohol consumption - a toxic mix that can result in violence and abusive behaviour.
"If someone is being abused, it's not 'just the drink', it's not 'just a domestic' - domestic abuse is a 24/7 experience, that involves a range of behaviours –intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse and belittling – are reinforced by the threat or reality of physical violence. So if you see or hear abuse, 'blow the whistle' and get advice."
Detective Chief Inspector Deborah Alderson, from Northumbria Police's Safeguarding Team, said: "Many victims remain behind closed doors with the power of coercive control keeping them silent. They desperately need the help of others to raise the alarm and when they do I can assure them that there is specialist support and advice on hand. Tackling domestic abuse in all its forms is a priority for the force. We will continue to work closely with our partners to provide the help and support that victims need and deserve while taking a robust stance against those responsible for it."
For independent and confidential advice, call 0800 066 5555. For more information about domestic abuse, visit www.northumbria.police.uk