‘Alcohol is no excuse for abuse’

PUBLISHED: 11:39 20 November 2012


This is the theme of a new campaign under way as part Domestic Abuse Awareness Week.

New figures have revealed that police in Devon and Cornwall responded to more than 25,000 incidents of domestic violence and abuse during 2011 and 2012.

The release of the figures coincide with the start of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week, which runs until November 25.

This year’s joint campaign, run by Devon’s domestic abuse partnership adva and Devon and Cornwall Police, will be focusing on how alcohol can be a contributory factor in cases of domestic abuse, as well as highlighting the support available.

Detective Chief Inspector of the public protection unit, Mike West from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Domestic abuse is an extremely serious issue and no-one should have to put up with abuse in any form.

“With such a significant number of domestic abuse offences involving alcohol, it is crucial to raise awareness of this serious issue and that help is available from the Police and partner agencies.”

In 2010 research carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police found that 56 per cent of domestic abuse offences involved alcohol or drugs or in some cases both.

Rachel Martin, manager for adva, which is led by Devon County Council, said: “We need to be very clear about this campaign’s message - alcohol misuse does not cause domestic abuse. It is a myth that violence only occurs because of alcohol. Perpetrators of domestic violence are abusive with and without it.”

According to Women’s Aid, the national domestic violence charity, alcohol does not directly cause abuse but there is evidence that where domestic violence exists alcohol is often present.

It also found alcohol is also used by victims as a coping strategy, with women experiencing domestic violence being up to fifteen times more likely to misuse alcohol than women generally.

The event also coincides with Alcohol Awareness Week.

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