Domestic violence has come under the spotlight in Boston with an huge increase in those needing help – and fears the
issue can only get worse.
Lincolnshire Police have reported an increase in the number of calls they receive about domestic violence – with 5,114 recorded across the county in just six months.
In Boston, reports have risen by more than a third in two years. In the six months of April to September this year, there were 604 calls to police. This compares to 700 for the whole 12 month period of 2008/9.
Police say the increase may partly be down to a rise in those coming forward to report abuse, but add that the findings of the British Crime Survey show domestic abuse often goes unreported altogether.
Boston Women’s Aid (BWA), which offers two safe houses in the town for women and children, says it has seen the number of victims needing help increase since last year.
BWA manager Lynn Mitchell said: “Between April and November 26, 2012, 36 women and 62 children were admitted to these properties. These figures are higher than for the same period in the previous year, at about 10 per cent.”
She said financial problems facing families already in crisis is often ‘the catalyst’ for domestic abuse, adding: “I envisage that benefit changes due in April may trigger even higher cases of abuse being reported.”
Despite the rise, the charity recently lost funding contracts, resulting in its outreach and drop-in services for men and women in the Boston-area being temporarily suspended. It is now seeking outside funding to resume these services.
The issue has attracted the attention of Boston Labour Party with councillors ‘shocked’ at police figures and asking for a full report into the matter to be brought before the council.
To donate to Boston Women’s Aid, pop into the centre at 2, Pump Square, Boston.