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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Domestic violence HQ opens doors
Domestic violence (generic)
The Guildford centre is open to victims, police and other agencies
A domestic violence centre which aims to be the first "open and accessible" unit offering specialist help to victims has opened in Surrey.

Agencies in the sector used to be hidden away but the National Centre for Domestic Violence HQ in Guildford is different, chairman Steve Connor said.

He said the new centre in Walnut Tree Close is open to victims, the police and all other agencies involved.

Deputy chief constable Brian Moore officially opened the centre on Friday.

"This is an example of how we can work together to keep people alive and safe from violence," the police chief said.

The time of hiding in dark, secret offices has now passed
Steve Connor

And Mr Connor said: "For the first time we can actively and publicly show that domestic violence is a problem that affects everybody but help is available.

"The time of hiding in dark, secret offices has now passed."

The charity began in 2002 as the London Centre for Domestic Violence, but now has offices across the country.

It offers free help and legal advice to anyone, and in 2006 obtained more than 3,100 injunctions - most within 24 hours of referral.

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