News: Lancashire Focus On Domestic Violence
Friday, 26th March 2004
Agencies from across Lancashire met on the 25th March to focus on domestic violence and consider how partners can work together more effectively across the County to tackle the problem.
The statistics and research findings around domestic violence are shocking
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives
- half the women killed in 2001 were killed as a result of domestic violence
- one woman is murdered every 3 days by a violent partner
- 30%-50% of all murders in Lancashire are related to domestic violence
- Over twenty thousand incidents of domestic violence are reported to the Police in Lancashire each year and it estimated that this may only represent less than a fifth of the true figure.
- only half of the people who suffer domestic violence ever tell anyone about it
The audience which includes representatives from the Police, local authorities, voluntary organisations, health, justice agencies, crime partnerships heard key messages from the Leader of Lancashire County Council, Hazel Harding, Deputy Chief Constable Steven Finnigan, Minister Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Annie Marjoram the London Mayor's Advisor, Judge Marilyn Mornington and Valerie Wise from the Voluntary Sector.
Leader of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Hazel Harding, said,
"The scale and nature of domestic violence commands the strongest attention. It is important that we reflect on best practice and ensure that all partner agencies maximise their joint efforts to tackle this most important problem. This conference is a milestone in reassessing our strategic approach in Lancashire."
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Ronnan said:
"Research by the force has found that a high proportion of homicides in the county in recent years were committed by people involved in abusive relationships. They were not just
partners, but included mothers, brothers, sons, and in-laws. More
significantly, in the vast majority of those cases, there had been no prior
involvement with the victim by police or other support agencies.
Consequently, there were few opportunities for help or intervention.
We want people to be more proactive and make sure they don't simply walk
away if they know or suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence. They
may think it's not their business, but domestic violence is everyone's
business. Getting involved could save a life. If you are the victim, the
life you save could be your own. It is not only those close to a murder
victim who suffer, but also those who know the offender.
Everyone has a
part to play. Statistics clearly demonstrate that a huge proportion of murder and
manslaughter victims in the county are killed by people they are, or were,
close to. Almost 40 per cent of homicides in the past three years were
domestic violence related (29 out of 75). That is why we believe it is
crucial that people who are in a position to offer help and support are
alerted before the situation reaches crisis point."
Delegates specifically considered good practice in strategic partnership working from around the country and formulated proposals for future working in Lancashire.
The conference followed the recent publication of the Government's Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill which proposes new measures which agencies in Lancashire will help to implement.