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As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, some things will unfortunately stay the same for victims of domestic abuse. Merseyside Police wants these victims to know that they are not alone and there is help available.
The force’s has introduced additional measures to help victims of domestic violence including the Domestic Violence Enforcement Cars (DVEC) - led by specialist detectives these cars will accompany patrols to calls to domestic incidents.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Bennett from Investigations explained: “We are committed to helping victims of domestic abuse. We have put extra measures in place, from specialist domestic abuse cars and detectives who are available to accompany patrol officers to domestic abuse incidents in the family home, to evidence-led prosecutions - to take the responsibility away from the victim who may decide that they don’t want to press charges.
"We understand victims of domestic abuse can often be very upset and emotional when the police are called to an incident and patrols often have to juggle looking after them while dealing with a suspect who may be acting extremely aggressively or violently. We want to ensure that victims who have had the courage to tell the police what has happened receive the best possible care and support from us from the very start.
"The primary focus of the officers in the DVEC car is to look after the victim, taking them somewhere away from the offender to speak to them about what happened, and getting them all the help they need, if they want to break away from the cycle of abuse they may be suffering.
“The additional measures will ensure that victims are fully supported if they choose to go ahead and make a formal complaint to the police or to access advice from domestic abuse charities. We can listen and we can take action.
“Victims of domestic abuse often feel a sense of shame or disloyalty because they know their attacker, often a partner or relative, and opt to suffer in silence rather than seek help. The abuse can, in some cases, be witnessed by children, causing untold emotional damage to them. We want to be able to take that burden from them."
The message from Merseyside Police is don't be afraid to tell someone, find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve. There is a lot of help out there both from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and our partner organisations.
The force is also encouraging neighbours and friends of those that are suffering from domestic abuse to tell them about it. Trust your instincts - if something you’ve seen or heard doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. By knowing the signs of domestic abuse, you could help a friend, colleague or family member. Domestic abuse isn’t just physical – it can be emotional, physical, sexual, financial or controlling behaviour. Some of the signs of domestic abuse, such as physical marks, may be easy to identify. Others may be things you can easily explain away or overlook
People can contact Merseyside Police and after explaining who they are and what the problem is, request that the police do not call at their address if they’re concerned about the response of their neighbours – this is about protecting the vulnerable people out there.
If you are in immediate danger, always call 999.
If you ring 999 and are not in a safe position to speak to us then cough or tap the phone and press 55, when prompted. This will alert the operator that you need assistance.
For more information visit Merseyside.police.uk