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Warrington's domestic violence co-ordinator speaks out about rape
THERE are very strong links between domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Victims whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a very high risk of being seriously injured or ultimately killed.”
These are the words of Rachel Zammit, domestic violence strategic co-ordinator for Warrington, who co-ordinates all the agencies offering support for victims of domestic abuse as part of the Warrington Domestic Abuse Forum including victim support and probation as well as the specialist rape services of the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates.
“I liaise with services crisis intervention teams to ensure the identification of very high risk and significantly high risk victims offering them support to make sure they are safe and can receive help through the court process,” added Rachel.
“Sexual abuse can happen to anybody at any age in any relationship but people don’t need to suffer in silence.
“Victims of sexual violence may not recognise it as that because they are in an abusive relationship and it is part of the abuse they are used to being subjected.
“Between 33 and 50 per cent of women who are physically abused by their partner are victims of sexual violence at least once during their relationship.
“Domestic abuse also affects the whole family and parents who think children don’t know what is going on are mistaken – statistics showthat approximately 75 per cent are in the next room when domestic abuse is taking place – and witnessing or hearing abuse is now considfered abuse to the child as well. "But support is available for the victim and the whole family.”
A local Voluntary Perpetrator Programme called ‘Lifeline’ aimed at helping male perpetrators to overcome their abusive tendencies is available. For further information call the confidential referral line on 07948 101534.
Victims or family members in need of advice or support should call Warrington Domestic Abuse Services on 244281 or RASASC on 221546.