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Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 10:00 GMT
Online help for violence victims
Domestic violence
Victims of abuse often find it hard to ask for help
Women who are victims of domestic violence can turn to technology to get help to escape abuse in the home.

Darlington Domestic Violence Forum has set-up a form on its website where women can apply for legal aid and start proceedings for an injunction against their partner.

It is hoped the form - which is submitted directly to a local solicitor - will help make the first step for abused women less daunting.

Research from the University of Sunderland has shown as many as one-in-seven women in Darlington suffer violence in the home


Taking that first step to walk through the solicitors office can be very difficult.

Claire Seymour, Darlington Domestic Violence Forum

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said: "I was in a violent relationship for 11 years.

"The final straw came when my husband was hitting me and my child was behind the sofa screaming and that was when I decided I couldn't take any more. Enough is enough."

She told BBC Radio Cleveland going to see a solicitor was a difficult step to take

"The first time you go you are filling forms out... and the first half-hour is gone in no time.

"If you can fill out the information beforehand and the solicitor has that information when you meet him for the first time, then that is very helpful."

Claire Seymour, of Darlington Domestic Violence Forum, said: "We know that many survivors of domestic violence need to get an injunction to protect themselves from their violent partner.

"But taking that first step to walk through the solicitors office can be very difficult."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Liz Corbin
"The first step is very, very hard"

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See also:

04 Oct 02 | England
04 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
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