Sussex Police and partners step up domestic abuse safeguarding over Christmas
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Police said the festive season is ‘a time when victims of domestic abuse are often at their most vulnerable’.
They said statistics show that domestic violence increases over Christmas so extra engagement with high risk victims and perpetrators at this time of year is important.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “Over the next few weeks, officers and specialist support workers will be carrying out discreet safeguarding visits to people known to be at high risk of domestic abuse. The highest harm perpetrators are also managed through Sussex Police’s Complex Domestic Abuse and Stalking Unit (CDASU), with a view to limiting their ability to offend and work with partners to try to change their behaviour. Officers from the CDASU will be engaging with these perpetrators over the festive period.”
Sussex Police said the operation follows support of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Visit safespacesussex.org.uk for further support.
Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Lewis said: “Christmas should be a time of joy and celebration, but sadly for some people it can be a period of violence and abuse. Domestic abuse devastates lives every day of the year and we and our partners are committed to protecting victims no matter the occasion. But for those people who need some extra support or protection over the Christmas period, our message is clear – we are here for you. If you are in an abusive or controlling relationship, please know that you are not alone and the help is out there.”
Police said people can make a report by calling 101, going to the Sussex Police website or by calling 999 in an emergency. Police said those making an online report can be shown how to delete this from their web history. Police added that those calling 999 who are unable to speak can press 55 and will be put through to the police automatically.
Sussex Police said they have specialist investigative teams for domestic abuse cases and dedicated teams of domestic abuse investigators who respond to victims via discreet video calls. Police said they also lead a multi-agency domestic abuse perpetrator project, which focuses on the ‘most active dangerous perpetrators’ to reduce harm, repeat victimisation and offending.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said about the safeguarding measures: “Sadly, domestic abuse doesn’t stop just because it’s the season of goodwill. For many victims and their families it can be an extremely isolating and frightening time of year. The discreet safeguarding visits undertaken by Sussex Police at this time, as well as the constructive engagement with perpetrators, have full support from my office and are just some of the ways in which Sussex Police tackles violence against women and girls and supports those who are vulnerable. If you or someone you know face controlling, coercive, threatening or violent behaviour, vital local support services offering confidential guidance and advice can be found through my Safe Space Sussex website.”