Lincolnshire

Reports of domestic abuse in Lincolnshire up nearly 25%

The number of cases of domestic abuse reported to Lincolnshire Police has risen by nearly 25% in a year.

In 2008/2009 there were more than 6,500 cases reported, but last year the number climbed to 8,072.

Women's Aid centres across the county have also seen an increase in calls for help.

But both police and support services said they believed the rise was down to more people coming forward, rather than an increase in actual incidents.

'Positive thing'

Sarah Norburn, the domestic abuse and honour based violence co-ordinator for Lincolnshire Police, said: "It's a hidden crime. The victims do need to come forward and I believe more are doing so because we are promoting a message to say 'come forward and tell us about it'.

"I think it is the case we are doing a lot more promotion.

"We have got operation NOVA - say No to Violence - running. We have targeted key dates around Valentine's Day and the World Cup, as nationally on match days there is a 30% increase.

"It is important that victims recognise what they are suffering is domestic abuse, be it physical, sexual, emotional, financial or physiological, and come forward to us, accept they are not to blame, get help and know they do not have to deal with it alone."

Paula Doyle, a support worker for Lincoln Women's Aid, backed this view saying: "We don't believe there has been an increase [in incidents].

"We believe that all the efforts made by organisations like Women's Aid and the police to highlight this and bring it to victims' attention, is encouraging them to come out and say 'I need help'.

"And that can only be a positive thing."

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