Online help to prevent domestic abuse

9 June 2014

Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership has launched a website to support local victims of domestic abuse.

Last year there were nearly 2,000 reports to Thames Valley Police of domestic abuse in Bracknell Forest. As a result, domestic abuse is a local priority for the Bracknell Forest Partnership this year.

The latest figures from Berkshire Women’s Aid show there were 978 calls to its helpline in 2012-13. Of these:

77 were seeking refuge
730 wanted information and/or support
156 were referred to outreach
14 were recorded as ‘other’
62 victims from across the country went into refuge locally.

The website offers impartial advice, resources and strategies to help stop domestic abuse in the area.

It aims to equip people in Bracknell Forest who are suffering from domestic abuse with the support they need to make the right choices for themselves and their families.

The partnership initiative brings together regional experts from Thames Valley Police, Bracknell Forest Police and Berkshire Women’s Aid.

It provides a comprehensive support network, ranging from the National Domestic Violence Helpline and Victim Support through to Crimestoppers and Childline.

It directs victims to the most appropriate source of help; helps people close to possible victims to recognise the signs of abuse and how to help the victim.

Offenders are also targeted; from recognising and taking responsibility for abusive behaviour, through to choosing to stop and seek help.

Cllr Iain McCracken, Bracknell Forest Council's executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “Domestic abuse is seen as a ‘hidden crime’ but our work demonstrates it can be prevented.

“Helping people understand the triggers can encourage them to come forward to seek help, whether they are a victim, a friend, neighbour or even an offender.

“This touches all parts of our community which is why this partnership approach is so vital to our success.”

Deputy LPA Commander Insp Jon Goosey said: “Our focus is raising awareness of the reality of domestic abuse in Bracknell Forest.

“Victims need to know the support and guidance is there, so they have the confidence to report their experience and take positive steps to break away and rebuild their lives.

“With these options, victims can take control of their lives and those of their children.

“Our message is simple; it’s never ok.”

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