Police launch fight against domestic abuse

Sussex Police launches its domestic abuse campaign under the leadership of new Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

The aim of the campaign, which kicks off today, Friday, December 14, is to encourage earlier reporting of domestic abuse and encourage its victims to talk to police and partner agencies and not suffer in silence. And the force wants the crime of domestic abuse to be frowned upon as much as any other crime, and for victims to be aware of the help and support that is available from both the police and partner agencies.

“I was elected Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner on a manifesto pledge to tackle domestic abuse and this is one of my key priorities during my first year in office. My aim is to increase reporting through greater confidence and improvements in support and care to victims, “ said Mrs Bourne.

“Domestic abuse is still largely a hidden crime occurring behind closed doors. Sussex Police, through its Anti Victimisation Unit, is already working hard to change this culture of abuse. I will strengthen their efforts by working with other organisations to change attitudes and behaviour, as well as encouraging specialist training for police officers in dealing with domestic abuse.”

At the launch a domestic abuse video made by Sussex Police and narrated by 44 staff and officers will be shown. The video describes the experience of a survivor of domestic abuse - how the abuse escalated and the incident that then inspired her to stand up to her abuser and get help.

Whilst the campaign launch is underway DI Miles Ockwell will be engaging in the first ever Sussex Police 24-hour Domestic Abuse Tweetathon as well as two live web-chats (12.30pm-2pm, and 7pm-8.30pm) where members of the public can ask questions and seek advice about domestic abuse here.

In addition to having police officers and a domestic abuse caseworker, there will be a volunteer from Rise, to answer calls in confidence from members of the public who need advice or just want to talk to someone.

Detective Inspector Miles Ockwell from Brighton and Hove Adult Protection Team said: “People are often surprised when I speak about the number of calls we receive on a daily basis that relate to domestic abuse. I hope that by tweeting general details of every call in a 24-hour period and then giving feedback on what happened, that we will raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue and generate some debate on how we can work with others to effectively resolve this complex problem.”