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Norwich MP urges domestic abuse sufferers not to suffer in silence

PUBLISHED: 06:47 26 September 2012

The launch the Norfolk Says No campaign.

Pictured: Launch outside County Hall.

For: Peter Walsh

The launch the Norfolk Says No campaign. Pictured: Launch outside County Hall. For: Peter Walsh

Victims of domestic abuse in Norwich have been urged not to suffer in silence by a Norwich MP who is calling on sufferers to report any incidents to police.

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, has worked with Norfolk police and other organisations, including Norfolk County Council, in support of the Norfolk Says No to domestic abuse campaign.

Ms Smith, pictured, who has received a number of reports from constituents in the city about domestic violence, wants more people to have the courage to come forward and report domestic abuse.

She said: “I will continue, as always, to support and assist any constituents seeking help to flee domestic abuse. I urge anyone who feels that they are in an abusive relationship to speak out – you are not alone and there is support available.”

Ms Smith has also welcomed a change in the law to include non-violent abuse as domestic abuse.

Changes made by the government mean that intimidation and controlling behaviour have been included in the definition of domestic abuse, as well including abuse affecting those under 18 years of age.

The change in the law will provide support and justice to more people who need it, not just those who have suffered violent assaults.

Ms Smith said: “This is an excellent and necessary step forward in recognising the types of abuse that many people suffer on a daily basis.

“I hope that more people will have the strength to come forward and report the abuse they suffer, especially young people, who often feel they have nowhere to turn if the abuse they are dealing with is not physical.”

The city MP’s message fits in with the Evening News’s Don’t Suffer in Silence campaign, which highlights the issue of domestic violence.

Anyone experiencing or worried about domestic abuse should call the 24 Hour Domestic Abuse Line 0808 2000247 or ring police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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