SHOCKING incidents of domestic abuse are continuing to rise in Dorset despite numerous measures to tackle the frightening crime.
Police recorded more than 20 incidents every day in the year to April with a total of 8,487 offences.
This compares to 8,183 the previous year and 7,425 in 2011/12.
Detectives now have extra powers thanks to Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) and Orders (DVPO) to bar suspected perpetrators from contacting a victim and stop them returning to a victim’s home.
Members of the public can also apply to the police under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme for information about a suspected offender’s past, known as the “right to ask.”
Detectives have pledged to do their utmost to put offenders before the courts and warned many will receive long prison sentences.
“If you commit an act of domestic abuse against your partner, expect to be arrested, dealt with robustly and go through the Criminal Justice System, if appropriate” said Detective Inspector Richard Dixey of Dorset Police.
“Domestic abuse offences can attract significant custodial sentences.”
He added: “We are determined to support victims in reporting these crimes and make sure those who inflict abuse are brought to justice. This is a priority for Dorset Police.
“Along with our own experienced and specially-trained officers who investigate these offences, we also work in close partnership with other support agencies who can also offer support, advice and guidance.
“Dorset Police is committed to preventing these offences developing into more serious violent crimes. Across the UK, two women a week and one man every 17 days are killed by their partner or former partner.
“I strongly encourage anybody suffering from this awful crime to report it and seek help.”
Victims 'attacked 37 times before they seek help'
Victims are attacked an average of 37 times before they pluck up the courage to ask for help, according to shocking statistics.
The boss of the new Bournemouth Outreach Service said some wait even longer and described domestic violence as “an immense problem” in the area.
Some of those approaching the service are as young as 16 with others in their 70s by the time they attempt to take action against the offenders.
Team leader Peter Russell said the service, which was set up in December last year, has already dealt with 300 victims but he added: “This is the tip of the iceberg.
“There are a lot more victims out there – running this service has been a real eye opener.”
The service offers advice and support with issues including how to leave a violent relationship, housing, making your home more secure and possible entry to a refuge or safe house.
Support workers visit victims, some of whom are men, to help them to find the best way forward.
“We are happy to support all victims. So far we have only had a handful of men come forward because many feel shame about admitting what is going on” added Mr Russell.
He urged victims to seek help from services such as Bournemouth outreach but also stressed they should contact the police.
“The safety of the victim is paramount, particularly if there are children involved” he said. “We would urge all victims to get in touch.”
Contact telephone numbers
- Dorset Police (In an emergency always dial 999) 101
- National DV Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000247
- National Men’s Advice Line (for male victims) 0808 8010327
- Bournemouth Outreach Service 01202 209456
- Bournemouth 24 hour helpline 01202 547755
- Poole Outreach Service 01202 710777
- Poole 24 hour helpline 01202 748488
- You First (Dorset County Outreach) 0800 0325204
- Childline (for children) 0800 1111