Drive to combat domestic violence

A GROUND-breaking drive to tackle domestic violence in Essex will be launched next week.For the past year, police, magistrates, social services and women's groups have been formulating a new plan to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the county.

A GROUND-breaking drive to tackle domestic violence in Essex will be launched next week.

For the past year, police, magistrates, social services and women's groups have been formulating a new plan to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the county.

With 681 women and 890 children being cared for in crisis accommodation in the county's seven refuges in 2001/2, the eight-page document, Essex against Domestic Violence: the plan of action, is an attempt to provide a concise, but "grand", vision of a consistent, integrated approach by voluntary and statutory agencies working together.

Dr June Freeman, chair of the co-ordinating group responsible for developing the strategy – to be launched on May 12 - said this was the first time there had been a multi-agency approach to tackling the "horrendous" crime.


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She said: "I really insisted that the document be short: it's designed to be read over a cup of tea. We've produced five key aims and laid out the benefits of this new countywide approach.

"We want agencies to be more vigilant about violence against women and children. A victim in Colchester should be dealt with in the same way as someone in Harlow. It is vitally important to tackle domestic violence at all levels in society.

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"Only by working together can agencies hope to achieve these aims effectively."

Jane, a domestic violence survivor said: "As a survivor of prolonged physical and mental abuse, I feel encouraged by the development of the inter-agency strategic plan.

"The need to implement change has finally been recognised and acknowledged by those who have the power to do so. I am therefore confident that the awareness of all the complexities surrounding the domestic violence domestic violence will now be taken into consideration and acted upon."

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