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9 September 2013, 05:00
With children now back at school, Merseyside Police have told Heart they're expecting to see a rise in reports of domestic abuse.
Along with Wirral Council, the police are launching a new campaign on the Wirral with experts saying that women don't report what has happened over the summer, because they want to keep the family together over the holidays.
Louise from the Wirral is a mum of two, she went to police after a whirlwind romance with a man she thought was perfect.
Detective Inspector Rachel Wilson from Wirral CID's family crime investigation unit said it was important that women in Wirral knew who they could call if they ever needed to.
She said: "Domestic abuse and violence is still an under-reported crime and there are many people suffering in silence at the hands of abusive, controlling or violent partners or relatives. Because the abuse is confined to a relationship it is so much harder for the victim to walk away from the perpetrator than if they were a stranger.
"It takes great courage and a leap of faith by the victim because they may feel that telling someone will only make the situation worse for them and the wider family. But there are people out there that sufferers can simply talk to and seek advice from which can help greatly. The council's family safety unit can support people when they are deciding whether to report the situation to the police and will stay by that person's side whether they choose to or not.
"Domestic abuse is a serious crime and can have tragic consequences. My team of officers on are on hand to take all reports seriously, to listen compassionately to what women tell them and to put the perpetrators of the abuse before the courts so that it can be stopped."
Jill Barr, manager of the Wirral Council Family Safety Unit, said: "Domestic abuse has no boundaries and affects women of any age, living in all areas across Wirral. We understand how frightening living with domestic abuse can be. The fear of not knowing what will happen next is often the reason why some women do not feel able to tell anyone about what is happening to them. We know domestic abuse is not just about physical harm it is often the constant controlling, jealous and abusive behaviours that leaves women feeling trapped and believing it is their fault and that no one will believe them.
"At the Family Safety Unit we will listen to you, believe your story and work with you to help you break free and live safely away from fear. We can support you with a wide range of options to reduce your risk. We work closely with Merseyside Police and support agencies that can offer specialist support depending on your needs. My team are qualified domestic abuse professionals who will do all they can to prioritise your safety. It is possible to break free. Take the first step and make the call."
For advice, help and support call the Family Safety Unit on 0151 606 5442. In an emergency always call 999.