Domestic violence on the increase

SUFFOLK has seen an increase in the number of repeat incidents of domestic abuse, new figures show.

Anthony Bond

SUFFOLK has seen an increase in the number of repeat incidents of domestic abuse, new figures show.

The number of repeat victims of domestic abuse increased for four months in succession between April and August, up from 123 to 145.

The figures, which will be discussed by Suffolk Police Authority tomorrow, show that about a quarter of all domestic abuse complaints received in the county relate to a repeat incident.

In August 145 of the 548 domestic incidents and domestic abuse-related crimes were cases of repeat victimisation.

Hilary Cadman, Chief Executive of Ipswich Women's Aid, said the figures were not surprising.

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“All the statistics on domestic violence say it takes seven years to leave a partner. Women often go back and try again as they feel that it was there fault which caused the violence, which of course it was not.

“Domestic violence is about repeat victims.”

Ms Cadman also said that the services which are provided to help domestic abuse victims may not be able to help enough.

“It is a very complex issue and while things have improved hugely, it is clearly difficult to be able to help everybody.

“There always will be a lot of repeat victims because it is so difficult and every woman will leave at a different stage.”

Marianne Fellowes, Suffolk Domestic Violence and Abuse project manager, said: “Individuals often experience more than one incident before they have the courage to come forward to an agency.

“Support systems are in place in Suffolk and we encourage everybody to come forward. If victims do disclose previous assaults they will be recorded as being repeat incidents, although they may not have contacted somebody in the past or the previous incident may have occurred in a different county.”

If you suffer from domestic violence and need to talk to somebody call the Suffolk Domestic Violence Information Line on 0800 7835121

n>Suffolk police figures also reveal that the number of serious sexual offences increased by 9% between April and August compared to the previous year.