How you can help us protect victims of domestic abuse.

What Do You See?

15 Sep 2020

If you saw someone being assaulted and abused in the street we’re pretty sure that most of you would call us straight away.

However, what if you knew or suspected this was happening to someone in their own home and the person doing it to them was their partner or a family member? Would you call us then?

According to the results of a poll we carried out, 12.5% of you wouldn’t.

That really concerned us, so today we’re launching a fresh appeal to show you how making that call could potentially change someone’s life.

Here at Humberside Police, we don’t care whether victims are men or women, what their sexuality is or what their relationship to their abuser is – we just want them to be safe.

And by letting us know when you’re concerned about someone you know, you can help us to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable people.

Domestic abuse takes many forms, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heatley said: “The signs that someone is suffering from domestic abuse aren’t always obvious but if a friend or loved one has changed or something doesn’t seem right, there are things you can look out for.

“One of the more easy things to spot are physical injuries. Do they have cuts, bruises or other injuries that they can’t properly explain or say are the result of accidents? Have things in the house been damaged or broken?

“Another sign to look out for is if they seem stressed or depressed, particularly if they’re reluctant to talk about what’s bothering them. Maybe they have lost their confidence and don’t seem to have any self-esteem.

“Perhaps they seem nervous, or act differently when their partner is around – or you’re suddenly finding that you’re not seeing them as often as you used to.

“It might be that they’re always making excuses for not coming when you invite them to come out, or they never have any money.

“Other signs to watch out for are if someone starts being regularly late for work and taking time off sick.

“Some people turn to drink or drugs – both illegal and prescription drugs – to help them cope. Are you worried someone you know may be taking something?

“Of course, it may not be your loved-one’s behaviour that starts ringing alarm bells. It might be the way their partner is behaving.

“Do they seem jealous, possessive or aggressive? Do they constantly phone to check up on them or are you concerned they’ve been going through their phone, emails or social media?

“If any of these signs apply to someone you know and you’re worried about them, it’s always worth giving us a call.

“Under Clare’s Law, third parties can come to us to request a domestic abuse disclosure application.

“You have to have a relationship to the potential victim – such as a friend, sibling, neighbour or colleague – but by raising your concerns we can look at whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse and warn the potential victim if they do.

“This is something we offer to all potential victims of domestic abuse, whatever their gender.

“We know that many people are put off in case you’ve misunderstood or got it wrong.

“Please don’t be. It may be entirely innocent but it might not be – and your call could be the lifeline a victim of domestic abuse has been looking for.

“My appeal to you is to pick up the phone or speak to your local team. We will listen and we will take you seriously.”

 

HELPLINES

Women’s Aid have launched a real time online chat function to enable victims to reach out for help. You can find out more about this here 

Women’s Aid – 0808 200 0247

Refuge’s 24 hour helpline – 0808 2000 247

Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327

Mankind Initiative - 01823 334 244

Childline – 0800 111 111

Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership – 01482 318 759

North & North East Lincs support – The Blue Door – 0800 197 47 87

East Riding Support – 01482 396 330

North East Lincs Women’s Aid – 01472 575757 (24hrs)

Respect – Helpline for offenders – 0845 122 86 09

 

Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “Protecting victims and preventing vulnerable people becoming victims is a key part of what we are trying to do.

“The signs of abuse can be visible but all too often are not recognised and so opportunities to intervene can be missed.

“As the force continues to promote the ‘what do you see’ programme we really want the public to think about what may be right in front of them and recognise the signs of abuse.

“Being alert may enable them to help someone who is suffering domestic abuse and through that change a life for the better by accessing victim support services or bringing their offender to justice.”

To find out more, visit www.humberside.police.uk/domesticabuse  

If you are concerned about someone, please call us on 101 or 999 if they are in immediate danger. You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or report anonymously to Crimestoppers online