CRIMESTOPPERS has launched a campaign to tackle domestic violence.
West Mercia Crimestopper’s ‘Behind Closed Doors’ aims to reduce the amount of victims suffering in silence.
Ten per cent of crime reported to West Mercia Police last year was related to domestic violence. Nearly 5,000 incidents were recorded and 29 per cent involved repeat victims.
Volunteer Susan Smith supports the campaign after suffering ten years of abuse from her husband including emotional, financial and physical violence.
She said: “As a survivor of domestic abuse, I understand the devastating affect it can have on victims and their families.
“For ten years the abuse had a ‘drip drip’ effect on me where my personality, self-confidence and esteem were slowly eroded until I didn’t recognise myself any more.
“It took a lot of courage but I did go to the police in the end – for my sake and my children’s.
“I now want to raise awareness of abuse. I want to encourage victims to speak out and to not let their traumatic experience consume them, but my message isn’t just for victims – if you know someone who is being abused report it.”
Figures from 2014 show that 80 per cent of domestic violence victims are woman and that up to 35 assaults will be endured before they speak out. Abuse is likely to increase over time and can result in death.
Jane McCann, Chair of Crimestoppers’ West Mercia Committee, added: “Domestic abuse is a serious crime but it remains largely hidden behind closed doors leaving the victims trapped, powerless and isolated.
“If you know that this is happening to someone you know, we would urge you to report it to us anonymously.”
Crimestoppers is also aiming to raise awareness of the anonymous reporting phone line, 0800 555 111.