Say ‘Enough’ To Domestic Violence In Gwent

Friends of domestic violence victims in Gwent are being urged to report offences in a new advertising campaign running throughout April.

The Enough poster, press and radio campaign, runs throughout Gwent in April, and forms part of Government work to tackle domestic violence, which includes the setting up of more domestic violence courts.

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.

The Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme rolled out across five Community Safety Partnerships within Gwent (Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly) a year ago. The number of cases domestic violence cases being successfully prosecuted has risen considerably.

There are now more than 60 specialist domestic violence courts across England and Wales. Special measures the Gwent 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.

In Gwent, successful prosecutions in domestic violence cases have increased from 57 per cent in December 2005 to 86 per cent in December 2006, due mainly to the setting up of the specialist court programme, which has also resulted in an increase in early guilty pleas, and a reduction in withdrawn complaints.

Nationally, successful prosecutions have risen from 46 per cent in December 2003 to 65 per cent in December 2006, with specialist court prosecutions rising to 71 per cent.

Alongside the courts, the Government is also funding Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs). IDVAs provide professional support to victims throughout the process of their case and ensure their safety is coordinated across the criminal justice system.

Carolyn Seymour, Assistant Chief Officer, Gwent Probation and Chair of the Pan Gwent SDVC Programme Management Group said: “The specialist court has sent out a clear message to perpetrators that their behaviour will be dealt with swiftly and decisively, and the courts have helped 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 affects one in four women and one in six men during their lifetime.