Say Enough To Domestic Violence
Friends of domestic violence victims in Wrexham are being urged to report offences in a new advertising campaign running throughout April, and victims will now feel more confident about following their cases through to conviction with the setting up of a specialist court in the town.
The ’Enough’ poster, press and radio campaign, which runs on media in the Wrexham area throughout April, forms part of ongoing Government work to tackle domestic violence and follows the setting up of a new specialist domestic violence court in Wrexham on April 4th, the first of its kind in North Wales.
Victims often tell someone about their abuse – usually a friend or family member. The campaign urges them, as well as victims, to seek support from the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
Home Secretary John Reid said: “Public protection is my top priority, whether it is on the streets or in the home. Over the last 10 years figures show domestic violence has fallen by 64 per cent1, but there is still more to do to urge victims to come forward and seek the help that is out there. I am committed to doing everything I can to help victims of domestic violence.”
Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland said: “Everyone should be able to live without the fear of violence and abuse in their own homes. But we know that for too many people, especially women and children, that fear is present everyday. There is no excuse for domestic violence. This campaign looks to raise awareness of the help and support that is available and urges victims, and their friends and families, to come forward and report crimes.
“This Government has put into place a series of legislative and practical measures which give greater protection to victims of domestic violence and their children and bring more perpetrators to justice. I urge anyone who is suffering or who knows a loved one who is a victim of this cowardly crime to come forward and seek the help that is out there. It is not interfering; it is intervening and doing the right thing.”
There are now more than 60 specialist domestic violence courts across England and Wales, including one the one in Wrexham. Special measures the court uses include fast-tracking and clustering domestic violence cases so that the courts run more effectively. The court also has separate entrances and waiting areas so that victims do not run into their attackers.
Successful prosecutions in domestic violence cases have increased from 46 per cent in December 2003 to 65 per cent in December 2006, with specialist court prosecutions rising to 71 per cent.
North Wales Police recorded 741 domestic related incidents during 2005/06, and during the winter of that period, domestic abuse violent crime counted for 23.4per cent of the total violent crime within Wrexham.
Alongside the courts, the Government is also funding Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), and Wrexham’s advisor starts at the same time as the court. IDVAs provide professional support to victims throughout the process of their case and ensure their safety is coordinated across the criminal justice system.
Wrexham’s Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator, Christine Elmitt said: “The new court setup will send out a clear message to perpetrators that their behaviour will be dealt with swiftly and decisively. The courts will help reduce the fear felt by many victims of attending court and provide them with the confidence to pursue their cases to a conclusion.
“Domestic violence remains a major problem – Wrexham Women’s Aid run a drop-in service which was accessed by 319 women in a year long period.”
In addition the Probation service in Wrexham runs a 28-week programme aimed at rehabilitating perpetrators of domestic violence with the intention of putting an end to their violent behaviour.