Shocking figures show 6,248 domestic violence crimes in 2013

Daily Echo: A scene posed by models from a video used by police in an anti-domestic abuse campaign A scene posed by models from a video used by police in an anti-domestic abuse campaign

VICTIMS of domestic abuse in Hampshire suffer an average of 35 assaults before they call police, the Daily Echo can reveal today.

Six people in the county have died as a result of domestic violence in the past four years.

A growing number of men are becoming victims too, according to new research by police.

This year alone there have been 6,248 domestic violence crimes and 22 per cent of those involve a male victim in Hampshire, an increase of 123 compared to the same period last year.

The shocking statistics come as Hampshire police launches a domestic abuse campaign over the festive period.

The Speak Out campaign will run until the new year to encourage victims, abusers, friends and family to get help at a time when 20 per cent more domestic incidents are reported to police.

It comes after the Daily Echo revealed on Saturday that the county’s refuges are at breaking point.

The South Hampshire Women’s Refuge can only accommodate one in five women due to lack of space.

This year the refuge has accommodated 46 women and 48 children but has been unable to find room for 182 women and 150 children.

Nationally the charity Women’s Aid warned of a crisis in domestic violence services.

One woman spoke out to say she had suffered such appalling abuse at the hands of her husband she tried to kill him by poisoning his cocoa, and without getting help she fears she would be dead.

Superintendent Ben Snuggs told the Daily Echo domestic abuse could involve people of all ages and gender and incorporates everything from physical violence to controlling behaviour.

He has witnessed incidents of people who have controlled their partner’s finances, letting them out of the home but not allowing them to spend any money, victims who are stalked by their partners and receive constant texts or calls when they are out, as well as cases of rape and sexual violence.

He urged people to get help.

“Whether it is physical or emotional we are really clear domestic abuse is what it is, it’s violent crime, plain and simple.

“Whether it is male or female we are working hard throughout the year to protect victims and target perpetrators.

“Domestic abuse is domestic abuse whatever you may be suffering. Please have the confidence and the courage to speak out today. If you don’t speak out today, there may not be a tomorrow.”

CASE STUDY

SUE was with her partner for 11 years and was married for seven. They had one son together who is seven years old.

Sue’s partner would put her down constantly about her weight and when they were in a restaurant he would buy food for himself and their son but only allow Sue to have a diet drink.

He would refuse to eat anything she cooked saying: “Look what it’s done to you.”

This behaviour the passed down to their son and her partner would think it funny if the boy called his mum names.

He controlled the money and would not allow Sue to buy healthy food as it was “too expensive”.

Sue went on a maths course with a view to getting a job but her partner would call her “thick” in front of the son and they would laugh at her together.

Her partner never had positive things to say to Sue, which has had a huge impact on her self esteem.

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