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"Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence?"

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7:01am 7th March 2014

A victim of domestic abuse from St Austell is urging us to ask friends if they are being targeted.

It is as police launch a social media campaign - warning only around half the cases happening in Cornwall are ever being reported.

Lucy suffered from the age of seven until she was thirteen. But it was not till she was in her twenties she got the support she needed.

She told Pirate FM: "Just in my family alone I'm the fourth generation of children to be taken into care. Because it's been normalised in my family it was very difficult for someone to question it and stop it at an earlier time.

"Sometimes it takes an outside person to actually have that impact.

"It's about realising there's nothing wrong with asking someone if they're a victim of domestic violence. Because just asking that one question, if you get it right, it changes someone's life. If you get it wrong it really doesn't matter. There's nothing wrong with asking people."

The police campaign includes Tweets and Facebook messages highlighting that abuse can be emotional, physical and financial.

Official hope it will challenge some of the misconceptions about domestic abuse as well as providing help, support and advice for victims.
 
In Devon and Cornwall there were 29,055 reported crimes and incidents of abuse from January to December 2013, however the true number of abusive incidents could be much higher as many are not reported or recognised as abuse.
 
Detective Chief Inspector John Trott from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms - physical, emotional and financial and these abusive forms may happen in isolation of each other or together.
 
“Some people may suffer years of emotional or financial abuse without identifying themselves as a victim because there have been no physical incidents. This abuse can be just as devastating as physical violence and shouldn’t be seen as trivial.
 
“It is extremely important we encourage anyone suffering any form of abuse to seek help and support.”
 
Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a major priority.  Since being elected as Police and Crime Commissioner I have encouraged more reporting of these incidents and I welcome an environment where people are much more willing to do so.  This is a complex area and I appreciate the good work that has already been done in this regard.
 
“We know that domestic abuse can take many different forms, and it is vitally important that, whatever the circumstances, anyone affected by this can feel confident to come forward.  Anything we can do to spread this message has to be a good thing.”
 
For help, support and advice call Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 or go here.
 
Alternatively call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

7:01am 7th March 2014

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