Action needed on domestic violence

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An MP from the borough is calling on the Government to help tackle an alarming rise in domestic violence.

Leigh parliamentary representative Jo Platt raised the growing issue both locally and regionally with the home secretary Amber Rudd in the House of Commons.

Concerningly Ms Platt said Leigh has been identified as a hotspot for domestic violence in conversations with the borough’s police officers.

Across Greater Manchester examples of people suffering physical harm from their partners also rose by 20 per cent last year.

Ms Platt said action to combat violence in the home at a national level has been too slow and the increasing number of incidents demand a response.

Ms Platt said: “The Government promised legislation would be brought forward, but more than a year after this announcement, we are still yet to see any action on this crucial issue.

“I was disappointed therefore that the home secretary did not outline any timetable for this legislation that I hope will be fully-funded, cross-departmental and effective in protecting the safety and wellbeing of victims.”

The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows the scale of the problem for the authorities to tackle.

In Greater Manchester the total number of incidents and offences of domestic violence went up from 65,792 between April 2015 and March 2016 to 67,987 between April 2016 and March 2017.

The number of offences, which were successfully brought to prosecution, leaped in the same time period from 18,773 to 22,739.

However, the number of incidents which include all the calls to the police about domestic violence actually dipped slightly, from 47,019 to 45,248.

Greater Manchester also has by far the biggest domestic violence problem in the North West, with incidents in the 10 boroughs accounting for almost half of the entire region’s total.

Altogether almost two million people in England and Wales experienced some form of domestic abuse between April 2016 and March 2017.

Ms Platt also used her platform in Parliament this week to raise awareness of the borough’s services helping victims, particularly praising Wigan and Leigh charity Dias.

She also urged anyone experiencing domestic violence not to suffer in silence.

She said: “I’d like to highlight the services available to victims of domestic abuse and encourage anyone impacted, or anyone who knows someone affected to come forward in complete confidence.

“We are fortunate to have the amazing DIAS service in Wigan and Leigh which works with both women and men who are experiencing or recovering from domestic violence and abusive relationships to offer confidential support and advice.”

DIAS can be contacted on 01942 495230. Incidents of domestic violence should also be reported to the police on 101 or, in life-threatening emergency situations, 999.

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