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9 October 2013, 09:12
A major conference is being held to discuss how more support can be given to victims of domestic violence in Hampshire.
Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes has organised the event in Winchester today (Wednesday 9 October), aimed at getting all the agencies involved to work together more closely. More than 100 experts from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will attend, including police, local councils, the NHS and charities.
The purpose is to 'provoke discussion on key issues and to spark innovative ideas on how service and support provision can be improved'. The PCC says there's a greater need for early intervention and education among young people.
Figures show 79 cases a day are reported to police in the county. Statistics also reveal a child sees abuse in more than 70% of cases, and women aged between 16 and 24 are more likely to be victims.
PCC Simon Hayes said:
''In over 70% of cases there will be a child involved who witnesses the abuse. The message it sends to children is that that is how relationships are and should be and we're wanting to stop that cycle.
"Statistics show that individuals can be abused and suffer violence up to 18 times over a number of years before they actually come forward. Victims who have children are even more reluctant.
''There are more cases of domestic violence and abuse happening than we know about. What we're trying to do is to encourage people to come forward in the knowledge that there will be received support. It's not just in depreived areas, it's also in the affluent, leafy parts of Hampshire as well.''
Mr Hayes also says there are still areas that need more attention:
"There are gaps in provision for men, and people who are in same sex relationships. It is just as emotionally draining and depressing."