Sussex Police released ‘The Visit’ video on social media on Monday (18th December) to launch the start of the Christmas operational activity under the banner of Operation Ribbon – the dedicated force response to reports of domestic abuse over the Christmas and New Year period, from 8th-31st December.
It aims to raise awareness of the hidden victims of abuse, particularly children who are exposed to abusive behaviour and forms part of a wider social media campaign to support Operation Ribbon.
Detective Superintendent Fiona Macpherson said: “For some, Christmas can be a particularly tough time of the year. We do see an increase in reports of controlling behaviour and domestic abuse, perhaps due to excessive alcohol, increased family tensions and financial pressures, but there are simply no excuses. Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on the whole family.
“We want to reassure people that together with partners, our specialist staff and officers can offer supportive measures to help them rebuild their lives.
“We are investing in training for our force, with front line responders completing the first phase of the ‘Domestic Abuse Matters’ awareness training this month. We’re also recruiting 250 volunteers from within our existing workforce to take on the role of domestic abuse ‘mentors’, to support and embed the learning, which is being put into practice for Operation Ribbon.”
Sussex Police and partners will be carrying out enhanced multi-agency domestic abuse activity for the Christmas period.
Specialist Safeguarding Investigations Unit (SIU) detectives are taking a leading role this year, in this new model for Operation Ribbon. Working closely with front line responders, they are providing dedicated expertise on investigations and safeguarding of victims.
SIU domestic abuse caseworkers together with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) have been carrying out welfare visits to high risk victims to review their safety plans, and also providing safety equipment to newly identified victims.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “We often talk about adult victims of domestic abuse but it’s vital we also focus on the ‘silent victims’, such as children, who may not know where to turn for help.”
“The Domestic Abuse Matters training, which I have part-funded for all Sussex Police frontline responders, is delivered by domestic abuse specialists and ex-police officers. I attended a training session recently and saw first hand how this expert support is helping officers to spot the warning signs when they are called out to a possible domestic abuse incident.
“I’m also determined to keep developing more innovative ways of tackling domestic abuse and this means working with both perpetrators and victims. I’ve recently helped bring together a partnership of police, local authorities and national charities to establish an early intervention service in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to support victims of domestic abuse and challenge abusive behaviour. I’m also funding the ‘Drive’ project in West Sussex which is working with perpetrators of domestic abuse and vulnerable victims to reduce the number of child and adult victims.
“I know Sussex is committed to providing the best support for victims, survivors and witnesses of this terrible crime, which is why I have developed somewhere people can find help and advice regardless of whether a crime has been reported to the police. Visit www.safespacesussex.org.uk/ for information about local support services.”
For further advice and support on domestic abuse in Sussex visit www.sussex.police.uk/domesticabuse or call 101 or 01273 470101. We have specially trained officers who can help.
See ‘The Visit’ here
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