A MOTHER is urging people to speak out about domestic abuse during the festive period after tragically losing her daughter at the hands of her abusive former partner.
In an interview with Greater Manchester Police, the mum of three appealed to families, friends, colleagues and neighbours to address any concerns they may have about their loved ones relationships.
She has said: “If I can save just one life then the loss of my beautiful daughter won’t be for nothing.
“I knew very early on that she was suffering at the hands of her partner but I just didn’t know what I could do to help. It was so difficult to hear what she was going through so I started writing a journal to detail what was happening, but I didn’t know what or if I could do anything with the information that I had. At least now I know what support services are out there.
“I don’t want others to suffer in the same way. If you know someone who is a victim don’t just listen – help them and speak out. Tell someone before the situation spirals out of control.”
Despite the extended period of time offering the perfect opportunity for families and friends to be together, heightened tensions, family pressure and money worries can always intrude on the festivities.
Unfortunately, when fuelled by excessive drinking this can lead to an increase in the number and the severity of abuse. Victims can also feel more isolated than usual because they do not want to spoil other people’s celebrations by speaking out.
Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine, said: “The festive period should be a time for families to come and enjoy spending time together, however it can be a very difficult time for domestic abuse victims. Those in an abusive relationship can feel compelled to but a brave face on, and family members finding it difficult to observe the situation without being able to help.
“We want victims to be aware that help is available but also to encourage family members and friends who have suspicions or concerns to take advantage of the time spent together to carefully bring up the subject and offer your support.”
“We work with our partners to ensure that all agencies are doing as much as possible to protect victims and families. This has resulted in us reducing the repeat victimisation rate in our most serious cases.
“The safety of victims is paramount and we will do all that we can to ensure victims don’t suffer in silence.”
During the holidays, police across Greater Manchester will increase patrols and officers will carry out a number of high profile initiatives to bring in offenders known for domestic abuse offences and to protect those victims who are at most risk.
Officers work alongside Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) to ensure victims were being signposted to support services at the earliest opportunity. Known perpetrators will be visited by police to remind them of their bail conditions and of any Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) that were in place.
Detective Chief Superintendent Jardine, added: “Always dial 999 where there is a threat to someone’s life or a crime in progress. As a police force we take all reports seriously and will act on the intelligence we receive. By encouraging reporting we can reduce the number of incidents of domestic abuse and can save lives. Remember if you see it, if you hear it, speak out and help end the fear.”
Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, but sadly for too many this is a season of fear. But we all have a responsibility in tackling domestic abuse – a crime that has devastating impact on victims and their families.
“Victims of domestic abuse are more likely to confide in a friend or relative, rather than go to the police, and as families and friends come together this Christmas, you may be that person a loved one confides in. You might not think you can help – but you can. You can report it to the police even if they are too afraid to – police will act on that information and take steps to protect victims. You can also access help and advice on how to support your loved one by visiting endthefear.co.uk or calling the domestic abuse helpline.”
For more information to report abuse contact police on 101 or the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525. You can also visit the GMP website for further details www.gmp.police.uk/domesticabuse.