Do not suffer in silence this Valentine’s Day − that is the message that Cheshire Police want to give out.
Cheshire Police’s ‘speak out, don’t be silent’ campaign seeks to encourage victims to speak out. Officers receive specialist training in investigating this type of crime. They work closely alongside a number of voluntary organisations and council departments within the local community to tackle the issue and to provide a life line to the victim and places of safety if needed.
Valentine’s Day should be a day filled with romance − with ‘loved up’ couples showing their affection for each other on this special day. At this time of year, the message to speak out is particularly pertinent as many celebrate their love for each other whilst undertones of domestic abuse can be prevalent through other times of the year in a relationship. Domestic abuse is not just confined to women - many men and women continue to endure domestic abuse and sexual violence for the sake of keeping their relationship together at these times.
No one should have to put up with emotional, physical or sexual abuse by their partner. Being abused can often result in low self esteem for the victim, particularly if the abuse continues over a sustained period which can feel isolating if there is nowhere else to turn. A feeling of desperation can result because in some cases their partner may have pressured them into severing ties with their family and friends making it difficult for them to confide in someone close.
Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Wenham, who leads the Strategic Public Protection Unit with Cheshire Constabulary, said: "We hope that by raising awareness of the issue and reinforcing our commitment to victims of abuse that it will encourage more victims to come forward. Domestic abuse is an issue that Cheshire Police takes extremely seriously and is not acceptable under any circumstances. We are committed to taking action to bring offenders to justice and holding them to account for their behaviour. We urge anyone who is a victim, male or female, of any type of domestic abuse to come forward and report it. Every report will be treated confidentially."
Domestic abuse will not be tolerated and subjecting others to acts of violence - often resulting in injury, so the message to all abusers is to think about the consequences of your actions.
You can read more about ‘speak out, don’t be silent’ at www.cheshire.police.uk
In an emergency always dial 999 or for a non emergency contact 101.