Agencies work to get grip on domestic abuse

Don't let tomorrow be another day of abuse. That was the message from a conference on domestic violence which brought together police, support groups and experts in the field of tackling violence within relationships.

Don't let tomorrow be another day of abuse.

That was the message from

a conference on domestic violence which brought together police, support groups and experts in the field of tackling violence within relationships.

The event at UEA on Saturday, Getting a Grip on Domestic Abuse, allowed agencies to get together

and share their experiences - from those who offer care

and support to victims, through to those involved

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in investigation and conviction.

The conference heard from ex-police inspector Hamish Brown, an expert on stalking and harassment, Laura Richards, renowned for her work in the field of risk assessment and Steve Connor, who spoke about the National Centre of Domestic Violence.

Det Sgt Ian Fox, an experienced domestic abuse investigator, explained why silence no longer protects the perpetrator.

The event was attended by officers from Norfolk police's domestic abuse investigations unit, representatives from other agencies, including children's services, the Crown Prosecution Service, court services, housing agencies and a number of voluntary supports.

Det Chief Insp Christine Wilson, the lead for domestic violence in Norfolk, said the conference was the first of

its kind in Norfolk for many years and was an impetus for a greater liaison with crossover agencies, including those that work with children.

"Norfolk Constabulary does not tolerate domestic abuse; we work very closely with many agencies to ensure that anyone who finds themselves in an abusive household

and seeks our support will

be taken seriously and

dealt with sensitively," she said.

"It is crucial if you are suffering abuse, which can be physical assault, emotional bullying or financial control, to remember it may also affect your children - you should report it.

"You can do this by contacting police, childrens' services or a voluntary agency. Please don't let tomorrow become another day of abuse for you or someone you know. It could

be a new beginning."

She added: "Domestic abuse often happens behind closed doors, it can happen to anyone - women, men and children in all types of relationships.

"Remember whatever is happening, the perpetrator is controlling you; you may be in a dangerous situation which will only get worse, so get help, tell someone.

If you have been abused or know someone who is, contact police on 0845 456 4567 or 999 in an emergency.

Help numbers for victims include: Leeway's Women's Aid - 01603 623745; East Anglia Survivors Enterprise - 0800 7314402; Olive Tree - 01760 722669; National Centre of Domestic Violence Hotline - 08709 220704.

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