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More help for domestic abuse victims
10:29am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
NEW measures to tackle domestic abuse have been put in place.
Hampshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service have launched the measures, with chief constable Alex Marshall and chief crown prosecutor Nick Hawkins signing the new protocol.
It comes as many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to help the police in pursuing criminal cases against violent partners or to even seek help at all. Almost a quarter of the cases reported to police are repeat offences.
The measures ensure that more is done to bring high risk cases to court, even when a victim may not want to, and to give better victim care.
There are often many reasons why victims are reluctant to prosecute the perpetrator, such as they may fear that their actions will exacerbate a violent situation and increase the danger they face.
With the new approach, if a victim later wants to retract their evidence they will be visited by a trained member of the specialist public protection unit safeguarding team, who will support the victim and continue to identify and record evidence which might support a victimless prosecution.
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."
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