Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:31 UK

Domestic abuse 'link to economy'

Money woes 'may make some abuse'

Organisations offering support and advice to victims of domestic abuse have reported a rise in cases due to the economic downturn.

The Rising Sun Domestic Violence Project, in Canterbury, said financial pressures and excessive consumption of alcohol had resulted in more referrals.

Kent Police has urged victims to report any cases of violence and access the support and advice available.

Det Supt Lee Catling said "living in fear of abuse is not acceptable".

'Criminalising partner'

The officer, who leads the Public Protection unit and is chair of the Kent and Medway Domestic Violence Strategy Group, said: "Domestic abuse is a crime that is hugely under-reported and it is a priority for Kent Police. "

He added: "Many people do not report domestic abuse because they live in fear, are concerned about the financial implications or are worried they may be criminalising their partner.

"We want to encourage people to come forward and report domestic abuse.

"Reaching out to us, or one of the many organisations in Kent who offer support, could be the start of a life without the fear of abuse for them and their children."

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