Coleraine police have launched a new “Stay Connected” initiative, whereby officers provide a topped up mobile phone to victims of domestic violence when a safe form of communication has been removed as part of the pattern of abuse.
The scheme has been developed by the H District Public Protection Unit (PPU), headed by Inspector Bob Blemmings.
PPU officers are specially trained to work with domestic abuse victims, in partnership with statutory agencies, to bring offenders before the courts.
The initiative sees mobile phones provided to people have been identified as at risk from domestic abuse.
If a person has been isolated as part of the abuse the phone can be used to used to connect with friends or family, police or charities such as Women’s Aid.
Inspector Bob Blemmings: “Victims should be empowered to seek help and police will work to keep victims safe by any means.
“Sometimes the best ideas are simple ideas. We think that the Stay Connected initiative is based on a simple idea but a good one.
“It undermines abusers who will often try to isolate victims from their friends, families or any form of support.
“I would ask that anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse to speak out. Please stay connected and speak to police, Women’s Aid or your friends or family if you feel at risk. Abusers rely on the silence of the victim. I want to victims to have a voice and to come forward to put an end to the abuse.
“Anyone who is suffering abuse can contact police on the new non-emergency number 101. If it is an emergency situation dial 999 immediately.”