New website launched to help tackle domestic violence in Bracknell Forest

Published: 28 May 2014 09:000 comments

A NEW website has been launched to help victims of domestic abuse in Bracknell Forest.

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There are about 2,000 reported cases in the borough every year and tacking domestic abuse is now a top priority for the authorities.

The Bracknell Forest Partnership – which includes the police, borough council and NHS – has set up the new website, called 'It’s Never Ok’, with advice for both victims and abusers.

Bracknell Forest Council community safety manager, Ian Boswell, said: “Domestic abuse is seen as a 'hidden crime’ but our work demonstrates it can be prevented. “This touches all parts of our community which is why this partnership approach is so vital to our success.”

Mr Boswell said 30 per cent of domestic abuse starts or intensifies during pregnancy, with relationship breakdown also a major contributor to domestic violence.

“Helping people understand the triggers can encourage them to come forward to seek help, whether they are a victim, a friend, neighbour or even an offender,” he said.

In Bracknell Forest, for the period from April 2013-March 2014, there were 1,953 reports of domestic abuse, compared to 2,037 in the previous

12 months.

However, within those figures, cases where an official complaint or further action were taken jumped from 481 to 509.

Last year there were 978 calls to Berkshire Women’s Aid from across the county which included 77 people seeking refuge.

The new 'It’s Never Ok’ website is aimed to help those suffering from domestic abuse, through providing them with the advice and support needed to make the right choices, often for their families as well.

As well as directing victims towards support currently available, it also seeks to help people recognise the signs of domestic abuse.

The website also has advice for offenders, through taking responsibility for their actions, recognising abusive behaviour, and information on seeking help.

Inspector Jon Goosey, deputy police commander for Bracknell Forest, said: “Victims need to know the support and guidance is there, so they have the confidence to report their experience and take positive steps to break away and rebuild their lives.

“With these options, victims can take control of their lives and those of their children.

“On average, two women a week nationally are killed by their partner constituting a shocking third of all female homicides.

“Our message is simple; 'it’s never ok’.”

The website brings together expertise from the police, council and Berkshire Women’s Aid, and provides contact details for a variety of organisations including the National Domestic Violence Helpline, Victim Support and Childline.

For more information, go to www.itsneverok.co.uk

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