Leicestershire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Sir Clive Loader is urging vulnerable victims of domestic abuse in Melton to seek help and protection from the police this Christmas - not suffer in silence.
His plea follows the launch of a unified support service for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
For the first time there is one number for all victims of abuse, regardless of where they live in the area. The number is 0808 802 0028.
Jointly commissioned by the PCC and local councils, the new service is provided by United Against Violence and Abuse (UAVA).
This year has also seen the introduction of Claire’s Law and has seen more than 80 people saved from a potentially abusive relationship in the county since the legislation was introduced in March 2014.
The domestic violence disclosure scheme enables men and women to request information on the history of a partner to protect them from a potentially abusive relationship.
Sir Clive said it was now easier than ever to access help to escape a violent or abusive partner and safeguard family members - or to avoid an abusive relationship altogether.
He added: “Repeat victimisation is higher for domestic violence than for any other crime. We are working extremely hard to help victims escape harm in the long-term through robust enforcement, providing strong support services which offer the same help to all victims across the city and counties and help survivors rebuild their lives and to steer them clear of an abusive relationship in the first place.
“Safeguarding victims of domestic abuse is one of my highest priorities and I would urge anyone experiencing such violence this Christmas to report their experiences to the police who will listen and treat them sensitively and ensure they receive the help they need to keep them safe.
“By coming forward, you not only protect your own life and those of your family, you also help safeguard other vulnerable people in the future who could be at risk of an abuser.”
A total of 39 of those benefitting from the disclosure scheme in Leicestershire were provided with information on a ‘right to ask’ basis which refers to a situation in which a member of the public requests information from the police.
The remaining number (42) were advised on a ‘right to know’ basis which refers to a situation in which the police receive information suggesting an individual could be at risk.
In total 187 applications for disclosure were made. The most common reason for non-disclosure was a failure to meet criteria under the legislation.
Clare’s Law is named after 36-year-old Clare Wood who was murdered by her estranged partner in 2009. By the time of her death, she had suffered months of sexual abuse and death threats before being strangled by George Appleton, who had a history of violence against women.
To make a request for information under the disclosure scheme call Leicestershire Police on 101.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are worried about a friend or a member of your family, visit https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/victims-witnesses/domestic-abuse