The campaign looks to raise awareness around Domestic Abuse

19 November 2012

Norfolk Constabulary has today backed a hard-hitting campaign aimed at encouraging the older generation to speak out about domestic abuse.

A series of impactive posters have been created to send home the message that such violence affects all generations and all walks of life.

Out of the 430 cases of domestic abuse referred to Norfolk MARAC* between 1 April 2012 and 30 September 2012 only 23 involved victims over the age of 55 - and Norfolk Constabulary believes the statistics show a vast under-reporting of such violence in this age group.

"...such behaviour is totally unacceptable and... no victim need suffer in silence at the hands of their tormentors."

DI Richard Ellis

Detective Inspector Richard Ellis, of the Constabulary's Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub said: "We do not underestimate how difficult it can be for people speak out about being a victim of domestic violence.

"Such a decision however can be all the more difficult for someone who has been caught up in such abuse for years and years and who may be afraid to 'rock the boat'/break their silence particularly if they have children or grandchildren.

"There can also be a tendency for some people to believe they should just put up with what is happening because of financial commitments or feel apathy because they have become conditioned to the abuse.

"It is often assumed that domestic violence is mainly experienced by young people. We would however like to make it very clear that such behaviour is totally unacceptable and that no victim need suffer in silence at the hands of their tormentors."

The Norfolk Says No White Ribbon Campaign, which is being launched by the multi-agency Norfolk Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Board, will run from Monday 26 November until Friday 30 November 2012.

A number of events have been organised including art displays, workshops and the re-launch of a 'commitment letter' signed by a number of agencies, including the Constabulary, to pledge to continue to tackle such abuse.

The posters have been created to not only encourage victims to speak out but anyone who believes they may know someone in need of help. They include images of an older man and woman with the slogans 'Silence Won't Help Him/Her. See It. Hear It. Report It'.

As well as being distributed locally First Group buses have agreed to run the artwork free of charge on its entire fleet for the week.

Chelsea de Silva, PR and Marketing Manager, for First, said: “First is pleased to assist Norfolk Constabulary in this initiative and will continue to support partnership working with community organisations."

Between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012 there were 12,988 domestic incidents reported to Norfolk Constabulary - of which 3452 were crimes.

This compares with between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011 when there were 11,560 domestic incidents reported - of which 3284 were crimes.

Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott who head of the Constabulary's Vulnerable People Directorate, said: "Norfolk Constabulary is committed to taking positive action against domestic abuse which includes supporting victims, ensuring a full risk assessment is carried out, conducting a vigorous investigation and charging and convicting the perpetrators.

“We do not only focus on matters which are criminal offences; often issues such as emotional and financial abuse can be subtle but are methods of control which need to be addressed.

“We work with other agencies to provide the support needed to break the cycle of abuse for families affected by such terrifying experiences. It is about working together to offer long term support and not just ensuring victims and their families make it through the criminal justice process."

The campaign comes shortly after the Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies launched the Time To Stop campaign aimed at reducing rape and sexual violence in both counties.

 

*A MARAC is a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference which draws together a number of agencies, such as the Police, Housing, Children’s Services and Health.

Look what you did

Have you watched the emotive short film 'Look what you did'?