A CAMPAIGN to crackdown on domestic violence has been launched across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight today (Monday).
Police expect to see a rise in abuse incidents and alcohol-related issues over the festive period, with 20 per cent more domestic incidents reported to them during the period, on average over the last six years.
As part of the campaign, Hampshire Constabulary and police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes, are urging victims to speak out.
Mr Hayes said: "In today’s society no one should live in fear of violence or abuse in a relationship and we need to do everything we can to stop this. I urge anyone affected by domestic abuse not to suffer in silence but to seek the advice and support they need to move towards a future without harm and violence."
According to the police, research has shown domestic abuse victims are likely to experience 35 separate incidents before calling the police.
Supt Ben Snuggs said: "Domestic abuse is violent crime, plain and simple and we work hard throughout the year to protect victims and target perpetrators.
"However, as our research shows that there is a distinct increase in the run up to Christmas and over the New Year period, we are encouraging victims, offenders and witnesses, to come forward, report domestic abuse and seek help and advice.
"The message is simple, speak out today."
Visit http://hampshiredomesticabuse.org.uk to find out about local services and where to go for help and advice.
Support can also be offered by the Isle of Wight Women's Refuge, which can be contacted on (01983) 825981.
Below, are the stories of two women living with domestic abuse.
Sue was with her partner for 11 years and was married for seven of those. They have one son together who is seven years old.
Sue’s partner would put her down constantly about her weight and when in a restaurant he would buy food for himself and their son but only allow Sue to have a diet coke. He would refuse to eat anything if she cooked as he would say he’s not eating it 'look what it’s done to you.’
This behaviour the passed down to their son and partner would think it funny if he called his mum names.
Anything to do with their son, he would say it is your job not mine. He would not allow Sue to buy healthy food as it was 'too expensive’ but because he controlled the money, Sue had no options.
Sue went on a maths course in the view to hopefully being employed in the future, her partner would call her thick in front of the son and they would laugh together. Her partner had no positive things to say to Sue ever, it was all negative, this has had a massive impact on her self esteem.
Jane came into Southern Domestic Abuse Service in Sept 2013. She fled from an extremely violent partner who physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually and financially abused her for a number of years.
She tried to leave him previously but his sister physically abused her and she was then too scared to leave. The abuse was escalating and the physical and the sexual abuse was getting more frequent.
Drugs and alcohol were a major factor in her life, to the extent that she was being drugged (MDMA) by her partner and made to do sex work, he would take the money and just buy her 10 cigarettes.
Jane also shoplifted so she could survive and was made to give him money for drugs and alcohol.