Campaign against domestic abuse

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TAYSIDE Police and partners this week officially launched a campaign aimed at tackling domestic abuse over the festive season.

Operation Lynchpin began today (Monday) and now in its fifth year focuses its attentions on the perpetrators of domestic abuse, as well as making sure that the right support is provided to victims of domestic abuse.

While domestic abuse is rightly seen as completely abhorrent by the law abiding majority, it is sadly all too common within Scottish society and can and does have a dreadful impact on its victims.

That impact comes in many guises, be it physical, emotional or financial – or very often a combination of all of those – and can have irretrievable consequences.

Detective Inspector Jim Smith said: “Tayside Police and its partners maintain a focus on this issue throughout the year but Lynchpin provides us with a platform to highlight this issue to the public and shine a light on domestic abuse at a time of year when we generally see a rise in the reporting of such incidents.

“During the course of this campaign every officer will take every opportunity to expose, investigate, record and tackle domestic abuse in whatever form it takes. We want to send a very clear message to that small but nonetheless significant number of people who wrongly believe that violence, including domestic abuse, is normal – acceptable even.

“It is not and it will not be tolerated. Those people should be aware that they will be dealt with vigorously and decisively. People who engage in domestic abuse will be arrested and treated as the violent criminal they expose themselves to be.’’

The desire to dominate or control a partner is rarely a one-off event, with research continuing to show that individuals are frequently subjected to numerous incidents before seeking help and support, initially from the police and then from other support networks.

Living in an environment of domestic abuse invariably exposes children and other family members to harm. Aside from the physical and emotional danger, youngsters in their tender years of development can be left with the belief that such behaviour is normal and this is something they carry into their adult life.

Operation Lynchpin seeks to break that cycle of abusive behaviour and assist those caught within it. Tayside Police and its partner agencies want to leave victim’s of such behaviour to know that there is a route out of their nightmare.

Help is available. No one should ever be subjected to bullying, harassment or even physical assaults at the hands of another, let alone someone they know, trust and may have once loved, or love still, within the confines of their own home.

Anyone reporting an incident can be assured that it will be thoroughly and sensitively investigated and partner agencies are readily available to offer support and assist in dismantling this cycle of behaviour.

Operation Lynchpin 5 runs from Monday, November 26, 2012, until January 25, 2013 and is supported by the Violence Against Women Partnerships (in Dundee, Angus, and Perth and Kinross, and partners such as Barnardos, Women’s Aid, Action for Children, Victim Support, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling service (RASAC), the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign and the Community Justice Authority, as well as the three local authorities.

A number of multi agency events will be staged across the Tayside area throughout the duration of Operation Lynchpin and under the banner of 16 Days of Action.

Victims of domestic abuse, female and male, can contact the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234 (24 hours) to access support or for referrals to local support providers.

For the perpetrators of domestic abuse, there is also the confidential service offered by the Respect Helpline 0808 802 4040.