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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 12:24 GMT
Police target victims of violence
Domestic violence victims in three Midland counties are being urged not to suffer in silence this festive period.

One in five violent crimes, plus five out of six West Mercia murders involve a history of domestic violence.

The force said that domestic violence incidents increase over Christmas, fuelled by family tensions, alcohol and money worries.

Police are working with Victim Support, Domestic Violence Forums, Women's Aid, refuges and councils.

'Behind closed doors'

West Mercia Constabulary's Home Truths campaign includes bus adverts promoting helpline numbers to help get people out of an abusive relationship in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Insp Shane Lewis said: "Christmas should be a time of peace, goodwill, and spending quality time with family, but sadly people in abusive relationships are more likely to be physically assaulted at this time of year.

"Domestic violence traditionally takes place behind closed doors but we are appealing to friends or relatives who witness it not to turn a blind eye.

"As for victims themselves, no-one wants to spend the festive season in a refuge but the important thing is to ensure their own safety and that of their children."

One in four women and one in six men will suffer domestic violence. Nine out of 10 incidents are witnessed by children under 16 and domestic abuse often extends to them as well.


SEE ALSO:
Police target domestic violence
22 Nov 05 |  Shropshire
Domestic abusers face crackdown
03 Dec 03 |  UK Politics
Report to cut domestic violence
25 Nov 03 |  Shropshire


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