More than 9,000 allegations of domestic abuse were reported to Suffolk police in the last 12 months.

While this constitutes 18-20% of all crime reported in the county, the victims who spoke up may just be a fraction of those actually experiencing this type of violence.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler has spent 29 years in policing and is now Suffolk Constabulary's domestic abuse lead.

"I'm a woman. I have a young daughter. I want to do right," she said.

"How we deal with domestic abuse has changed dramatically since I first joined the force, but society's values haven't caught up with this."

Though the number of individuals who reported an allegation of domestic violence in the last 12 months stands at more than 6,200, she knows that this number may just scratch the surface.

"For many people, they might not see themself as a victim," Supt Cutler said.

"They might not realise that what is happening to them isn't acceptable.

"But it is wrong. It is a crime."

READ MORE: Suffolk police join National Stalking Awareness Week

A Freedom of Information request revealed that, in the year to April 2022, 9,296 domestic violence reports were made to Suffolk Constabulary.

This shows a slight decrease from the previous 12 month period to March 2021 - 9,371.

Both of these figures, however, show an increase from pre-pandemic levels with information from the Suffolk police website showing 7,918 reports made in the 12 months prior to the end of June 2019.

For many victims, the hardest concept to grapple with is that they may have to end up testifying against the perpetrator in court, but Supt Cutler wants to come away from this idea.

READ MORE: Mental health care 'will not, and should not, be from the police'

"For many victims, all they want is for it to stop," she said.

"For me, the best outcome is that the victim is safe and has freedom of choice."

For those feeling reluctant in coming forward, Suffolk Constabulary works with a range of non-police partners who can offer sensitive and discreet advice and help.

"We have one common aim and that's to help the victim - we don't mind if that's through us or one of our support agencies," said Supt Cutler.

If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic abuse, visit the Suffolk Constabulary website for helplines which reach either the police or external charities/organisations.