4:30pm Thursday 5th December 2013
By Ian Craig
VICTIMS of domestic abuse in Worcestershire have been getting help from a group of agencies working together to stamp out the problem.
The county’s Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) – meetings of a collection of agencies tackling domestic abuse – began in 2008 and has since discussed more than 1,000 cases involving more than 1,200 children.
Each meeting of the organisation creates an individual safety plan for a victim and helps them take action to protect them and their children with actions including visits from a police officer, enlisting help from schools, midwives or health visitors and providing extra security measures in the home.
In the 12 months before the group launched there were 572 incidents in south Worcestershire, but this dropped to 372 the following year.
High severity incidents – those with the greatest amount of incidents within a single case – reduced by 54.4 per cent while those of medium severity dropped by 58.5 per cent and those of low severity decreased by 24.2 per cent.
Between July 2012 and June 2013 the group discussed 129 cases involving people in south Worcest-ershire, involving 130 children.
Ages of victims ranged from 17 to 81 and 63 per cent of these found they did not need to call police as often, with 35 per cent not having to do so at all.
Martin Lakeman, Strategic co-ordinator of the Worc-estershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse welcomed the success of the initiative.
“These specialist workers provide a lifeline for victims at a time when they are most vulnerable and give them the courage and confidence to make informed decisions on the way forward,” he said.
“Once again our message is simple, please don’t suffer in silence.
“The success of our MAR-AC is a testimony to the e-cellent partnership work across Worcestershire and the passion and professionalism of staff to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
The figures were announced in the second week of the White Ribbon Campaign which, along with your Worcester News, is working to stamp out domestic violence against women across the country.
More than 950 people in Worcestershire have already pledged “never to commit, condone or remain silent about domestic abuse and sexual violence in all its forms” towards a target of 10,000 as part of the 16-day campaign, which runs until Tuesday, December 10.
To add your pledge, visit worcesternews.co.uk/whiteribbon, or whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/worcestershire Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can call Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse in confidence on 0800 980 3331.
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