A multi-agency project aiming to tackle domestic abuse in Cumbria has been launched.
The Cumbria Domestic Abuse Champions’ Network was launched on Monday 8th October which aims to raise awareness of domestic across Cumbrian communities and organisations.
The project is a partnership approach between Cumbria Constabulary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Cumbria County Council and Women’s Community Matters.
In Cumbria, domestic abuse concerned 32% of all violent crime in 2017/18. This figure is an increase of 2% from the previous year. There are a number of contributing factors to the increase such as increased confidence in reporting domestic abuse incidents, increased awareness and the Constabulary’s compliance with new crime recording procedures.
The network aims to deliver an awareness raising programme, training around domestic abuse and information sharing and networking opportunities across Cumbria.
Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis, Cumbria Constabulary Public Protection Unit, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to make a real difference to people in this county.
“Domestic abuse affects a large number of people in this county, both directly and indirectly. It is an appalling and debilitating crime that can isolate a victim into a cycle of abuse.
“What the Network is aiming to achieve is open a discussion on domestic abuse, challenge any misconceptions and provide further confidence to victims in reporting what is happening to them. We seek to provide a whole family approach to tackling domestic abuse which recognises the impact on children who experience domestic abuse in the family environment.
“By supplying our Champions with knowledge in identifying and dealing with such incidents we can help prevent further victims and help those who are suffering.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Peter McCall said: “The Domestic Violence Champions’ Network which have been set up in the north, south and west of the county, will enable a greater level of support to individuals affected by domestic abuse/violence in Cumbria.
“Over time domestic abuse victim’s self-esteem can be worn away, they often start to believe the abuser’s insults, blame themselves for the abuse, or even deny that it is taking place. Domestic abuse also impacts upon children, can dismantle family units and challenge networks across our wider communities, schools and businesses.
“It is essential that we tackle domestic abuse as early as possible to help prevent people from suffering, and the Champions’ Network will help us to improve our community and agency responses.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Local Communities, said: “This is an important partnership project between the county council, Cumbria Police and Women’s Community Matters and one which I hope will encourage more domestic abuse victims to come forward. By hearing their voices and understanding how domestic abuse affects people’s lives, we can develop a network of support and work together to prevent future domestic abuse and to support those affected by it.”