Bedfordshire Police says trust your instinct around domestic abuse Image: LoloStock AdobeStock_55703389

Domestic abuse can involve psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse and is largely a hidden crime

This Bank Holiday weekend, Bedfordshire Police is asking the county’s residents to think about those who may be suffering with domestic abuse.

The force is urging people to report any concerning behaviour to give victims the chance they need to end the cycle of harm.

With its partners in the county’s local authorities, charities and voluntary organisations, the force is providing support to victims and their families, enabling them to live free from fear.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Dadd, force lead for domestic abuse, said:

“Social distancing and isolation will have enabled abuse, as well as coercive and controlling behaviours, due to stricter routines and fewer opportunities to get out over past weeks.

“We know how hard it is for victims to open up about what is happening, but it is important we all take action against domestic abuse, and help give sufferers a voice.

“By speaking out and providing us with information, you could literally be someone’s lifeline, so please take the first step and make a report.

“This could be affecting a family member, friend or neighbour, or a work colleague, or customer at your workplace if you have been providing essential services these past weeks.

“You are our eyes and ears, please don’t keep your concerns to yourself and trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.”

Domestic abuse can be described as any incident, or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over, who are, or have been, intimate partners, or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can involve psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. It is largely a hidden crime, but abusers will continue to exercise control and exert fear, even in public.

Abuse in any form isn’t acceptable. If you have concerns about a person’s behaviour towards another, or you fear for your own or someone else’s safety, please get in touch with the police on 101.

Always call 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively you can call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111, or report via its website at
www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

For more information and advice about domestic abuse please visit Bedfordshire Police’s information pages.

Victims of domestic abuse can also contact the Signpost Hub for free and confidential support, whether the abuse has been reported or not.

The Signpost Hub’s experienced staff and volunteers know what emotions and challenges victims may be going through. They are specially trained to listen and give help and advice. Often just talking to someone, especially one who is not family or a friend, can help victims, or those affected, make sense of what has happened and find a way to help cope and recover

They can provide a safe, neutral place for victims to voice their fears, worries and emotions. Their emotional support is confidential and non-judgemental. They also work with a range of specialist organisations and community support groups and can make referrals to help victims on their journey.

For further information or to get in contact visit www.signpostforbedfordshire.com/hub.