THE FIGHT against domestic violence has been stepped up by the Crown Prosecution Service and police in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.
The force announced today (Tuesday) that it had introduced new measures to tackle the issue, including better victim care and pursuing cases even when a victim may not want to.
"Many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to help the police in pursuing criminal cases against violent partners, or even seek help at all.
"In nearly a quarter of the cases reported to police, these are repeat offences," said a spokesman.
The spokesman added: "There are often many reasons why victims are reluctant to prosecute the perpetrator. "For example, they may fear that their actions will exacerbate a violent situation and increase the danger they face.
"Although this poses significant challenges for us, it is vital that we do everything we can to protect domestic abuse victims and, together, help them break the cycle of abuse.
"For example, where as a victim you make a statement but want to later retract its evidence, you will be visited by a trained member of the specialist Public Protection Unit Safeguarding Team.
"This is to support you and continue to identify and record evidence which might support a victimless prosecution.
"Our message to victims of domestic abuse is that violence, threats of violence or other controlling behaviour, be it financial, emotional or sexual, is a crime and is unacceptable.
"We can intervene in a positive, yet sensitive, way to help you and support you break the cycle of violence.
"To those who are responsible for abusing other family members or partners, our message is similarly clear: your actions are a crime and will be thoroughly investigated. You should expect that you will be taken to court whenever we possibly can.
"To the wider public, it’s important for us all to understand that many victims of domestic abuse have difficulty accepting that assaults by partners constitute a crime. We all have a role to play in taking positive action and reporting domestic abuse to the police to support victims break this cycle of violence."
Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs said: "We understand that victims are frequently most at risk from a coercive and controlling partner when they seek help, or try to end a relationship.
"Through this new, joint approach with the CPS we will make sure that victims are well supported, right from the moment they first call us to the conclusion of a trial. We will also prosecute cases wherever we can in order to help survivors of domestic abuse break the cycle of violence against them.
"We also work closely with many other agencies which support survivors of domestic violence in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Their work is critical in helping survivors know that they are not alone and in providing them with practical help, outreach and refuge."
John Montague, Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex said: "The protocol recognises the complex dynamics of domestic abuse and attempts to develop a robust investigative and prosecution approach that is specifically focussed on high risk victims. It aims to reduce repeat domestic abuse offences by supporting high risk victims through the criminal justice process according to their individual needs."