Police urge abuse victims to seek help

With domestic abuse spreading its tentacles through the community, police are urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.

Officers from the RCIP Family Support Unit are urging people to get in touch with them if they are suffering in any way.

‘The FSU offers a confidential service to the immediate and extended members of family units and aims to provide a supportive, sensitive and easily accessible service to those in need,’ said the RCIP.

‘Perpetrators of domestic abuse can be anyone. A perpetrator of violence is not classed as any particular creed or colour. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse,’ said Inspector Angelique Howell of the FSU.

‘Abuse is a pattern of behaviour used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. It often includes the threat or use of violence,’ said Inspector Howell.

‘Abuse happens when one person believes he or she is entitled to control another.

‘Abuse of family members can take many forms, including emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, threats, intimidation, isolation and a variety of other behaviours to maintain fear, intimidation and power,’ she said.

‘All these types of abuse are completely unacceptable and we want people to know that they can come forward and speak with us in complete confidence about any problems they may be experiencing,’ she added.

The police are urging people to think about what they would say to their partner if he or she became violent.

They are advising people to think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs and to avoid rooms with no exits, such as bathrooms, or rooms with weapons, such as kitchens.

They urge people to make a list of safe people to contact, to memorise all important telephone numbers and to establish a code word or sign so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.

People experiencing domestic abuse are asked to contact the Family Support Unit on 946-9185, any of the police stations on Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac or Little Cayman or call 911.

‘You are not alone,’ the RCIP stressed.

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