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10 June 2014, 07:59 | Updated: 10 June 2014, 08:04
With the World Cup just around the corner, Hampshire Police are launching a campaign to encourage victims of domestic abuse to Speak Out Today.
Historically, they see a rise in domestic abuse incidents during large football events such as the World Cup. Nationally, during the last World Cup in 2010 there was an increase in domestic abuse incidents of 27 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.
As part of this year's campaign, domestic abuse support workers are volunteering their time during the tournament to accompany police officers to domestic abuse incidents.
A volunteer will accompany police officers in a police vehicle and will speak to domestic abuse victims (with their consent) at the same time as an incident is reported.
Shonagh Dillon, Chief Executive Officer at Aurora New Dawn LTD said:
"Large sporting events like the World Cup see an increase globally in incidents of violence against women. Aurora New Dawn are delighted to be working in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary to co-ordinate independent support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse across Hampshire and the IOW.
"We aim to respond quickly and effectively to victims in a non-judgmental way so the police can focus on bringing the perpetrator to justice."
Hampshire Constabulary's Superintendent Ben Snuggs said:
"Domestic abuse remains a priority for the force and we are using extra resources to help tackle the problem, take positive action and provide further support for victims during the World Cup.
"Our support agencies do a massive amount of work across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in supporting domestic abuse victims. This is a great opportunity for us to work closely together to take a stand against abuse through a combined response.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes said:
"No one should live in fear of violence and abuse from someone who is supposed to care for them. Domestic abuse is not acceptable in any circumstance, regardless of what has happened to antagonise the situation or what excuse is given. I encourage anyone suffering abuse to speak out.
"The joint response to domestic abuse calls by the police and a support worker is an excellent example of agencies working together, to provide the support and help victims need at a time when they will feel most vulnerable. I am committed to improving services to victims and through funding and encouraging partners to work together to deliver domestic abuse services based on the needs of victims and their families."
Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. It includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.
Domestic abuse may, and often does include a range of abusive behaviour, not all of which may be violent. One in four women and one in six men experience domestic abuse at some point in their life.
During the World Cup, police will be tweeting the hashtags #WatchYourGame and #SpeakOutToday.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse Speak Out Today, call 101 to report it. In an emergency always call 999.