24/10/2006

Domestic violence reports increase

Victims of domestic violence are more confident in coming forward to report crimes against them, Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson has said today.

One year on from the launch of the Government’s ‘Tackling Violence At Home’ strategy the Minister said that this has helped reinforce the fact that domestic violence is a crime and is not acceptable in any circumstances.

The Minister also paid tribute to those working with victims of domestic violence.

David Hanson said: “I am very encouraged by the excellent work that has taken place over the past year since the launch of the Government’s ‘Tackling Violence At Home’ strategy.

“The many initiatives undertaken over the past year, such as the further development of the 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline, have brought the issue of domestic violence more into the open and have helped raise standards of service for victims. The number of callers to the helpline has increased by over 18 % since 2003/04. This has been a major improvement in service to victims of domestic violence. The clear message that domestic violence is a crime and is not acceptable in any circumstances is making an impact.”

Mr Hanson continued: “We cannot be complacent and more needs to be done but the fact that there has been an increase in the reporting of this type of crime in the last year sends a clear signal that victims of domestic violence are more confident in coming forward. We must build upon this work to encourage more and more victims to seek help. We also need to continue to improve protection and support services for victims and their children.

“The good progress to date has been achieved by all the agencies working together in partnership and we must continue this work if we are to make a real impact on this problem which affects people right across society.”

A 24-Hour Free-phone Domestic Violence Helpline is open to anyone affected by domestic violence - the number is 0800 917 1414.

(EF)

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