We've launched a campaign to tackle Domestic Abuse in Suffolk, reassuring residents of Suffolk that it's safe to speak out about it.
Police across England and Wales are called every 30 seconds to attend Domestic Abuse-related incidents - last year, between April and December, Suffolk Constabulary responded to 3,449 calls relating to Domestic Abuse.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic Abuse is a crime - and it's not all just about kicks, punches or violence. It can be sexual, psychological, mental, emotional or financial abuse and it will affect one in four women, as well as one in six men, in their lifetime. Domestic Abuse is about power, dominance and control over vulnerable victims who are either too scared or emotionally trapped to speak out.
Speak up about Domestic Abuse anonymously
Although our anonymous service means we can't take information from victims, in many causes, neighbours, friends and even family may suspect the offence is taking place but they’re reluctant to get involved. Victims are often too afraid to speak up - we encourage those close to the victim or offender to give us information anonymously, whilst still being able to openly support loved ones.
Crimestoppers hopes to break the cycle of domestic abuse by encouraging more people to contact us anonymously through the 0800 555 111 number or our Anonymous Online Form.
“Domestic Abuse is a serious crime but it remains largely hidden behind closed doors, leaving the victims trapped, powerless and isolated.
“We want more people to speak out if they know someone is being abused. We know it’s not always an easy thing to do but Crimestoppers offers the public the chance to give information anonymously. We don’t take personal details and we don’t record calls. We can’t trace calls or information given online. Those who contact us don’t have to give a statement to police or go to court."
Antonia Litten, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers in Suffolk
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, adds:
“Domestic Abuse is an appalling and at times brutal crime and is never acceptable in any circumstance. I am very pleased to financially support this awareness campaign to draw attention to this appalling crime.
“One of the saddest facts is that victims can be abused many many times before they seek help, and we also know that the majority of domestic abuse incidents are not reported. This is something we really need to change.
“People rarely understand or accept when they are in an abusive relationship. Abusers manipulate and control their victims, making them feel powerless and isolated. This makes it very hard for them to come forward to the police. I urge anyone who thinks someone is being abused to speak out and help put a stop to it. If you don’t want to speak with Suffolk Police, please call Crimestoppers anonymously.”
What to do if you are a victim of domestic abuse:
Due to our anonymity guarantee, we can't take information from victims of crime.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse you can contact the charity Lighthouse Women’s Aid - call 01473 745 111.
“It's often extremely hard for loved ones to support someone through the turmoil of the abusive cycle when they are frightened or refuse to accept help to stop the abuse. But we are here to support and empower victims of domestic abuse, by providing a safe environment, practical, and emotional support.
“One survivor of domestic abuse told us she has a knife held to her throat, water thrown over her: and her husband tried to strangle her. She said everything she did was wrong, getting the wrong bread, cutting the potatoes wrong. There was no pleasing him. She felt she wasn’t good enough. When she arrived at Lighthouse she was offered specialist support around the abuse she had experienced and she said her whole world turned round. She also made new friends, she was never used to having friends, and she didn’t feel alone anymore.”
Sally Winston, Chief Executive of Lighthouse Women’s Aid
Domestic Abuse warning signs
In abusive relationships (dating, co-habiting, marriage, or civil partnerships), when you begin a relationship it is not always obvious whether or not it will become abusive. Your relationship may seem healthy, but there are some warning signs you can look for to help you identify possible abuse in your relationships and others relationships:
- You start seeing less and less of your friends and family.
- You start changing your behaviour, your appearance or your actions to suit them.
- You give up activities or hobbies you enjoy doing.
- You feel nervous about your partner hearing your conversations with others.
- Sometimes you feel scared about how your partner will react.
- You take the blame for things that you know weren’t your fault.
- You don't express your opinions because your partner will make you feel stupid or small.
- You feel manipulated when they are kind or give you gifts.
- They are the one to make all the decisions.
- You feel pressured into doing things you don’t want to do.
- You are constantly contacted on your mobile phone.
- You have to justify yourself because your partner is jealous.
- Your partner criticises you a lot and you begin to feel bad about yourself.
- You are made to feel uncomfortable when you and your partner disagree.
Domestic Abuse typically follows a pattern whereby the tension builds before the abuse takes place. This usually increases in frequency and becomes more severe over time. It is never too late to make a change and break away from an abusive relationship.