Domestic abuse offenders sent message

CHRISTMAS cards will be delivered to persistent repeat offenders of domestic abuse in Waveney warning them against violence as the festive season approaches.

CHRISTMAS cards will be delivered to persistent repeat offenders of domestic abuse in Waveney warning them against violence as the festive season approaches.

It is part of Suffolk Constabulary's Christmas poster campaign against domestic violence that will be launched in Waveney and across the county on Monday, and run until January 2.

It is aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence and to encourage victims, their friends and family to seek support during the Christmas and New Year period.

Posters will be put up featuring the slogans 'Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year? Domestic Abuse, No Excuse' and 'Ho Ho No - Domestic Abuse, No Excuse'.

Christmas cards that will be sent to persistent offenders will warn them that they could spend time in police custody if they commit offences during the festive season, and will include information on how they can access help to change their behaviour.

Det Insp Terry Jones said: 'We are launching this campaign in the run up to Christmas as the festive season can be a time of stress, strain and financial worry for many people. As a result, domestic abuse can begin or can intensify.

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'Children and family members are adversely affected even if they do not witness the abuse directly. The effects can be long lasting, they can often be hurt physically by trying to intervene or emotionally by the stress and worry they experience.'

Lowestoft Victim Care Centre and Waveney Domestic Violence Local Forum commissioned the posters that were designed by Constabulary staff.

Police are urging members of the public to have fun in the festive period, but to remain sensible and drink in moderation as the Christmas season can bring increased levels of alcohol consumption, another common factor in cases of domestic abuse. Alcohol was a factor in 43.4pc of cases countywide and in 48.3pc of cases in Waveney between October 2008 and December 2008.

Police are also encouraging more victims and not to suffer in silence. Multi agency arrangements are in place so that victims can be offered the service they need, which may not always have police involvement.

Det Supt Alan Caton said Suffolk Constabulary and its partner agencies continued to find ways to get the 'break the pattern' message across, adding: 'It is important for victims, their friends and extended family to know that help is just a phone call away. If we are unable to provide the appropriate support, we will direct you to the most suitable agency to enable you to reach the best support available.

'The message is quite clear - there is 'No Excuse for Domestic Abuse' and it can affect families across all social, economic or geographic backgrounds.'

Advice is available on the 24 hour free phone helpline 0800 783 5121 or via the website For your local Police Victim Care Centre call 01473 613500 or in an emergency dial 999. Those who have abused their partners or adult family members and want to seek help to change their behaviour can call RESPECT on 0845 122 8609.

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