BREAKING the cycle of domestic abuse is a difficult step for the victims who have spent years living in fear.

During her 20 years of service DI Kate Tomlinson, from Cheshire Constabulary, has witnessed the mixture of emotions victims endure as part of the fight for justice.

But DI Tomlinson firmly believes speaking out can stop future generations from repeating the mistakes of the past.

She said: “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to protect the victim and keep them safe. 

“We are also trying to protect the children from becoming victims or perpetrators. 

“Even now I see people who were kids in domestic abuse situations coming through the ranks and they are future victims and perpetrators behaving like their parents.”

DI Tomlinson focuses on high-risk domestic abuse cases working alongside the multi-agency safeguarding hub to provide support.

“I would love people to come and tell the police and let us do what we can but not everyone is in a position to do that,” she said.

“There are other agencies out there who they can speak to on a confidential basis.”

As there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, each case is dealt with on an individual basis.

Some victims are asked to take part in a video interview while others can provide a written statement.

“There are also special measures in court to try to make the experience less stressful and traumatic,” she added.

The introduction of the domestic violence disclosure scheme Clare’s Law in May 2014 is one way to find out more about those convicted.

It enables the public to apply for a police check into the past of an individual.

“Alarm bells start going but they love this person. 

“It takes them a long time to realise that the behaviour is affecting them and it’s wrong,” said DI Tomlinson.

“Clare’s Law is not just for people who come and request information. 

“We might get a report of a low-level domestic abuse incident. 

“We will do our checks and we might find out the perpetrator has a long history of domestic abuse. 

“We would proactively go and make a disclosure to the victim so they can decide about the future of their relationships. 

“We don’t disclosure the full information. 

“There is a script that we follow. We do more of these than the applications.”

Refuge – Warrington Independent Domestic Violence and Abuse Service – provides support to anyone living in town who is experiencing domestic violence.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Domestic violence is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country. 

“One in every four women will experience domestic violence at some time in their lives, and two women a week are killed by their partners or former partners in England and Wales alone. 

“Domestic violence is about more than black eyes and broken bones.

“Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body, and can be just as damaging.”

To speak to the Refuge team in Warrington call 243359 or visit ref

To report domestic abuse to the police call 101 or in an emergency dial 999.