A countywide campaign to highlight domestic abuse has been launched today by Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council.
They are working together to offer domestic abuse victims the support they need and to raise awareness of the problem.
The campaign, called the 12 days of Christmas, highlights the fact that victims can experience all types of abuse including physical, financial and psychological.
Domestic abuse is not just between partners, it also includes violence between siblings, parents and children and other relatives.
In December 2012, there were 1,563 domestic violence incidents recorded in Derbyshire. This was a 5.8 per cent increase on December 2011 and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to an average month.
Posters encouraging people to ring the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline, or Derbyshire police, are going on display across the county as part of the campaign.
They will be put up in places such as pubs, bars and doctor surgeries, as well as on buses running throughout Derby city.
Advice and safety information will be tweeted by the police and councils for the next 12 days, highlighting the help available for victims in Derbyshire.
Inspector Andrea Parkin, City Partnership Liaison Officer, said: “The Christmas period is a time for the family, with the focus on giving and sharing, however in some families Christmas is a time of fear and violence.
“We are hoping to raise the profile of domestic abuse and encourage victims to get help. If they don’t want to contact the police they can ring the helpline for advice.”
Derbyshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Paul Smith said: “We often see a rise in domestic abuse at busy family times such as Christmas when emotional tensions can be heightened and want victims to be reassured professional support is available at the end of a phone.
“It’s not just the physical damage we’re concerned about but the verbal and psychological damage too. Domestic abuse may be an offence which happens behind closed doors but we don’t want anyone to have to suffer in silence.”
Anyone who needs help or support should ring the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline, 08000 198668 or in an emergency call 999. Advice is also available on the force website http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/Safety-advice/Personal-Safety/Domestic-Violence.aspx