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The Rotary of Cockermouth’s Domestic Abuse and Modern Day Slavery Conference

Peter McCall is opening the Rotary Club of Cockermouth’s annual conference ‘Countering Domestic Abuse and Modern Day Slavery’ in partnership with Churches Together, Victim Support and Cumbria Constabulary on Friday 24th May 2019 at Christ Church, Cockermouth.

The conference aims to deliver an awareness raising programme around domestic abuse, modern day slavery/human trafficking to provide networking opportunities and information sharing across Cumbria. There will be presentations by Victim Support Cumbria, Remedi, Domestic Champions Training opportunities and a Recovery volunteer talking about their real life experiences. Also showcasing on the day will be the Freedom Project, Safety Net, Barnardo’s, CalderHouse, Samaritians, Soroptomists, Churches Together and Cumbria Police.

In Cumbria, domestic abuse accounted for 33.1% of all violent crime recorded in 2018/19, this is a rise of 1% from the previous year. There are a number of contributing factors for this increase such as more victims having the confidence to report domestic abuse incidents, improved awareness and the Constabulary’s outstanding compliance with crime recording.

Peter McCall

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “Domestic abuse and modern day slavery are serious crimes which are going on in Cumbria, we must address them. Key to this is raising awareness of how to spot the signs, to watch out for those around us and to alert the Police or appropriate authorities and get the right support to individuals who for their own reasons, may not wish or be able to come forward.

“Domestic abuse also impacts upon children, can destroy family units and challenge networks across our wider communities, schools and businesses.

“No one should have to face abuse alone. Some victims attempt to hide the signs and nobody should have to suffer in silence. Help is available and we need to encourage people suffering abuse to access it, you should not feel that you are alone.”

Andy Carter from the Rotary Club of Cockermouth said: “We felt that in view of Domestic Abuse and Modern Day Slavery incidents we wanted to do something to assist all agencies, including the police who are combating these awful crimes daily in our county.

“Our aim, whilst working with Churches Together, is to give a platform to these agencies to assist them in highlighting the issues to the public but also to show what agencies can do, to protect and support all those affected. All are welcome, there is no registration or need to book a place.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Holden said: “It is important to raise awareness of these types of crimes – as they can happen anywhere, affecting any part of the country.

Cumbria is a safe place to live and visit but we are not immune to these issues.

“Domestic abuse can include any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. We are committed to supporting anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse and will work with our partner agencies to help them.

“Human trafficking and modern slavery are growing issues for policing across the UK – and Cumbria is no exception. Our officers work daily in partnership with other police forces and agencies to tackle these issues, protect people and keep people safe.

“We also need the public to act as our eyes and ears to help us safeguard vulnerable people and bring offenders to justice. Events such as this are important in driving home the fact that Cumbria is not immune to these issues – and people should be aware of the suspicious signs and the support out there.”

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