Guest columnist Ray Wootten: Say NO to domestic abuse

Ray Wootten - Conservative
Ray Wootten - Conservative
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Domestic abuse affects all social cultural and religious boundaries, including men as well as women.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales in 2012/13, 5.7 per cent of the adult population aged between 16 to 59 experienced some form of domestic abuse.

In Lincolnshire there were 5,861 cases of domestic abuse between April 2013 and April 2014, of those 1,537 were in South Kesteven, which includes Grantham.

At the Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Conference held in Lincoln last week, over 200 representatives from various agencies including the police, NHS and the council came together to help create a culture where society does not tolerate domestic abuse.

Delegates heard from several speakers including Wendy Turner Webster, sister of Anthea Turner. Wendy’s harrowing story included years of mental abuse, only reporting her husband after he had left her. Last year she took part in a major BBC documentary about domestic violence and also produced and presented a documentary for the charity Refuge.

Many victims suffer for years in silence before taking the courage to ring the police. It is estimated that 17 per cent of females subjected to domestic abuse do not tell anyone that they are suffering, similarly men feel too proud to talk to friends and colleagues.

At the last council meeting I was elected as the council’s representative on the West Lindsey Domestic Abuse Service which covers Grantham and I have made a pledge to highlight domestic abuse and the help that is available.

It has been acknowledged that each week three women commit suicide because of abuse and that a further 30 contemplate suicide. There is support and real help including the new domestic violence protection notice which enables police to prevent further abuse. This is authorised by a police superintendent and serves as a summons for court.

A magistrate can issue a domestic violence protection order, which lasts for 14 to 38 days and prohibits an offender from entering or being within a certain distance from a home.

Thirteen women have also been helped to escape abusive relationships after using the new domestic violence disclosure scheme.

Further information in confidence can be obtained by ringing the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Alternatively, the West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service number is 01427 616219 or ring Lincolnshire Police on 101.

Say NO to domestic abuse.