Victims of domestic and sexual abused urged to seek help by Hove councillor

Posted On 24 Dec 2010 at 3:25 pm

A Hove councillor has urged anyone who suffers domestic violence over the festive period to ask for help.

Councillor Alex Phillips said that last year Sussex Police were called to nearly 900 incidents of alleged domestic abuse over the Christmas holidays.

The Green councillor for Goldsmid ward on Brighton and Hove City Council said that reports of domestic abuse and sexual violence spike over the festive period.

She said: “There were 898 incidents of alleged domestic abuse reported to Sussex Police last year in just two and a half weeks – almost 50 incidents per day.

“These are just those that are reported and may well be the tip of the iceberg.”

Sussex Police has a dedicated team of officers working on domestic abuse during this time, Councillor Phillips said, but no specific seasonal campaign.

She said that there were also concerns about the annual increase in broader sexual violence, often linked to the festive “party season”.

She said: “Brighton and Hove needs funding to run a high-profile campaign on both issues, as has been done elsewhere by the Together We Can Stop It and Stop Blame campaigns.

“Stop Blame, for instance, shows how different authorities and organisations working together can result in a really powerful campaign with a good message.”

Stop blame is a Welsh Assembly campaign and Together We Can Stop It is run by Scottish Women’s Aid.

Councillor Phillips said: “Importantly these campaigns and others will probably lead to an increase in reporting and future prevention.

“Not enough is done to reach out to those suffering in silence.

“The anguish inflicted on victims, families and societies is enormous – not to mention the financial costs.

“These crimes affect all kinds of people, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, and it’s crucial that properly funded services are there to support them.

“I hope that this time next year funding is found to run a high-profile campaign during the festive season.

“In the interim, I urge anyone who needs help to contact the police in the first instance and also seek support from excellent organisations such as Rise, Survivors’ Network and Mankind.”

Sussex Police can be contacted on 0845 6070999 or in an emergency 999.

Rise, which offers support for women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse, can be reached on 01273 622822.

Survivors’ Network, which helps female survivors of sexual violence and abuse, can be called on 01273 720110.

Mankind, which helps men who have suffered from domestic abuse, can be contacted on 01823 334244.

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