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Breaking the wall of silence over domestic violence

Date:1 DEC 2008

For the first time the crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is appealing to the public to give information they may have about domestic violence abuse of a loved one, colleague or neighbour. Two women are killed every week by a current or former male partner in England and Wales. Domestic Violence accounts for a 35% of all murders.

Due to changes in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, victims now have increased protection available to them. Third party information can now play a more prominent role in building a prosecution case around domestic violence, due to changes in legislation.

This has meant that Crimestoppers can now play a more active role in asking for information from third parties, as there is no risk to the anonymity of the caller and their information can play an important role in getting offenders prosecuted.

Crimestoppers piloted domestic violence campaigns asking for third party information in West Mercia, West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire during last year's '16 days of action'. The pilot saw an increase in the number of calls to Crimestoppers and to the local police forces. Following the successful pilot Crimestoppers is encouraging people to call the charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 to pass on information they may have about someone they know is suffering from domestic abuse or someone they know who is doing it.

Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, said: "Many people may still see domestic violence as a private issue. But it isn't. It is a crime, and just with any other criminal act, information is needed to help make arrests and build prosecution cases. It is vital that people are aware that the information they have on domestic violence can help bring offenders to justice and safety to the victim. We must help to put a stop to it."

For advice on what to do if you suspect someone is experiencing abuse, click here to visit the Crimestoppers' website.