Wigan police are launching a summer campaign to support victims of domestic abuse and highlight an increase in incidents during the warmer weather.
Across the Greater Manchester force 11,400 victims of domestic abuse came forward between July and August last year compared to 11,069 the previous year.
The data highlights how the warmer weather, coupled with longer evenings, can increase tensions which in turn create a risk of domestic abuse.
This latest campaign encourages victims, friends, family and colleagues to look beyond the lens, filters and emojis to find out if the person they love and care for needs help.
Domestic abuse includes coercive and controlling behaviour, financial and emotional abuse as well as violence. Those suffering from the crime may not even realise that they are victim.
Det Supt Denise Worth said: “We want this campaign to encourage victims, friends and family to report domestic abuse and put an end to it. We are here to help and don’t want victims to suffer in silence.
Domestic abuse has potentially devastating consequences and it’s important people are aware of how to spot the signs. Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right it might not be. If you can tell they are being controlled, are in a violent relationship or are being stopped from meeting friends and family report it.
“We know from our own information that one in three women will be a victim of abuse in their lifetime, as will one in six men. This is a sad statistic which highlights the scale of the problem. There are also a number of support services available which you can contact for advice and assistance and all reports are taken seriously.
“Always dial 999 where there is a threat to someone’s life or a crime in progress. By encouraging reporting we can reduce the number of incidents of domestic abuse and save lives.”
Joanne Simpson, director of Independent Choices, said: “People experiencing domestic abuse often have to mask what is happening to them and project an image that everything is ok to friends, family and colleagues. We encourage everyone to look at what’s going on behind the mask and to reassure their friends and loved ones that you will stand by them and support them with whatever they are going through.”
Anyone feeling they are victims of abuse can approach their GP or nurse for help. Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline can also be contacted on 0161 636 7525.