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Domestic abuse highlighted in new campaign

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

By RICHARD BENNETT

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POLICE and crime commissioner Alan Charles has repeated his commitment to increasing support for victims of domestic abuse by backing a week-long awareness campaign.

The Association of Chief Police Officer’s domestic abuse week coincides with the launch of Claire’s Law, a new disclosure scheme which allows people to check the police record of their partners.

Mr Charles is expanding the support available to victims of domestic abuse in Derbyshire and has provided funding to various support groups such as High Peak Women’s Aid and First Steps.

Mr Charles, said: “The awareness week reiterates just how important it is that we safeguard vulnerable men and women whose relationships are putting them at serious risk of harm.

“New laws are making it easier for people to protect themsdelves and steer clear of a potentially abusive parner but they are also giving the police more power to intervene when things go too far.”

He is also hosting a national conference on the criminalisation of forced marriage on Tuesday, May 6, which looks at the forthcoming change that makes forced marriage a criminal offence.

The PCC and his deputy are also working to raise awareness of female genital mutilation within Derbyshire.

Mr Charles added: “Domestic violence is still a hidden crime but this has to change.

“While the new laws give police officers greater powers in apprehending offenders, I’m very conscious that early prevention work to promote healthy relationships and build self-esteem is the long-term solution.

“I’m very grateful to our partners working in the community who play such an important role in this recovery process.

“Their intervention is helping to break a cycle of relationship violence and give victims hope of a better future.”

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