"You are not alone" - our commitment to tackling domestic abuse
During these unprecedented times where we are having to stay at home, it's easy for any of us to forget that we are not alone. Especially, if you are faced with the daily threat of violence from the person you are living with.
Although sad to say, domestic abuse is one of those crimes which will inevitably rise during the lockdown.
That's why I am keen to take any opportunity to remind us all that help is still very much at hand for anyone who is suffering such abuse.
Wiltshire Police, my office, our partners and the government are all working hard to remind victims that support is available and you don't have to suffer behind a closed door.
My office commissions a number of support services: Horizon - the victim and witness care service - will work with a victim of domestic violence to explore available support. We also work with stakeholder agencies like: Splitz - the Wiltshire domestic abuse service - and Swindon Women's Aid; there are also national charities like Refuge and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline.
Let's not forget either that although the police are extremely busy with extra work brought on by the coronavirus situation - our officers are still working to so what they do every day - protect us and prevent crime, and they will, if necessary, arrest and a pursue a prosecution against anyone who carries out violence and abuse.
I believe there can never be too much publicity around domestic abuse; whatever time of the year, whatever the day, whatever the certain situation - in the current case, a global situation. We all need to keep talking and being aware of this crime so that victims can be protected by knowing that there is help available.
It's really important we reinforce to members of the public and our stakeholders that during this time we, and other agencies, are still here for all victims to report abuse to.
If you are in an abusive relationship or know of someone who is, please reach out for help.
You can call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency and contact one of the agencies mentioned above via the Wiltshire Police website: www.wiltshire.police.uk
The government's "you are not alone" campaign is currently running which also reminds victims that it's a national problem and help is at hand: www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse
You may want to help spread the message yourself by doing what I did last week and take a selfie of a heart drawn on your hand then share it on social media using the #YouAreNotAlone.
Now, more than ever, people need to know that message. Because when victims feel the situation is hopeless, the message is, there is hope and help.