Campaign calls on friends to report domestic violence

A new advertising campaign aimed at encouraging friends of victims of domestic violence to report offences was launched today.

South Wales is one of the first areas to launch the campaign, and the 'Enough' poster and radio campaign forms part of the UK Government's crack down on domestic violence and comes alongside the rollout of new specialist domestic violence courts in Wales.

Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland said: "Tackling domestic violence is a key priority for Government. This campaign will work to raise awareness of this unacceptable crime, which devastates families and ruins lives, and point victims in the right direction to get help.

"More than 60 per cent of victims tell someone about their abuse, usually a friend or family member, and we want these people to know that their voice can make a difference to end the violence. Remaining silent about domestic violence amounts to collusion.

"Our new specialist domestic violence courts give both victims and witnesses a stronger platform to get their voices heard. By bringing together criminal justice specialists we can provide victims and their families with vital support and ensure perpetrators are bought to justice.

"This campaign confronts people who commit domestic violence, with the intention of making them see the consequences of their actions.

"We need to say 'Enough' to Domestic Violence. This campaign is the latest step we are taking to ensure the best possible help for victims; to encourage them to come forward in the certainty that they will get the help, protection and support they need. We also want to ensure that those who want to seek help know where to go."

Results from pilot specialist domestic violence court in Caerphilly in 2004 identified dramatic improvements in the cases heard. The number of victims who withdrew from a case dropped from 53 per cent to 17 per cent and guilty pleas rose to 61 per cent from 21 per cent. A second pilot was run in Croydon court area.

Sandra Horley, CEO of Refuge said: "Domestic violence kills two women a week in England and Wales - it takes lives and it shatters lives. Everyday at Refuge we see the broken bones and black eyes of women who live with the daily terror of domestic violence. Domestic violence touches all of us - and in many cases there will be a friend or family member who is aware of the violence. Refuge is urging people to support their friends and family members by encouraging them to get help. It could just save a life."


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