People living in fear of domestic abuse are being urged to make 2013 the year to break free
With incidents of abuse traditionally increasing at this time of year, and with an average of ten people killed each month by a violent partner, victims and eyewitnesses are being encouraged to make a potentially life-saving new year resolution: to report abuse and get help.
Karen Shooter from Lincolnshire County Council says:
"For many of us, the new year comes with hopes of exciting times ahead. But for those in violent homes, the promise of a fresh start can seem impossible. It's not. We will help and support anyone to escape domestic abuse - making sure that 2013 is a year to celebrate, not fear."
More than 9,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to the police in Lincolnshire between April 2011 and March 2012. But it's estimated that 75 per cent of cases go unreported. Mrs Shooter says:
"We understand that the biggest hurdles victims face in coming forward are fear and doubt that they'll get the support they need. So, if you feel you're being abused, the most important thing for you to know is that you will be taken seriously and helped. You just need to get in touch."
There are many different types of abusive behaviour and not all are violent. Last year, the government updated its official definition to recognise this and include controlling behaviour and emotional abuse. Visit www.domesticabuselincolnshire.com for full information about the signs.
Services exist across Lincolnshire to support victims of domestic abuse and help them move on safely and securely to a new life. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.domesticabuselincolnshire.com for more information and local support. In an emergency, call 999.