Cumbria councillors shocked by sexual violence figures
Last updated at 16:32, Tuesday, 19 March 2013
MORE than 5,000 women and girls were victims of sexual violence in Cumbria in a year.
Another 10,000 are feared to have been attacked by close family members.
Senior councillors hit out at the level of abuse revealed in government estimates, describing it as “disturbing” and saying it “seems to be part of the culture of Cumbria”.
The figures came from a report which also showed more than 6,400 incidents of domestic violence were reported to Cumbria police last year. Officials fear the real levels, however, are even higher as experts estimate just 40 per cent of domestic violence is reported to police.
Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin said the figures shocked him.
“It seems to be part of the of the culture of Cumbria,” he said. “We have got to take a tougher stance.
“We can’t just sit back and do nothing. The figures are disturbing.”
The report was presented to councillors as they set out their priorities for the next 12 months for the Cumbria Community Safety Agreement. The latest figures, covering from November 19 last year to January 6 this year, showed 950 reports of domestic violence. Councillors heard that domestic violence costs £48m in direct costs – such as police – and another £151m for counselling, hostels, prosecuting cases and rehousing victims.
According to Home Office statistics, there were more than 5,000 female victims of sexual assault in Cumbria during 2012 and, it is feared, 10,000 more were victims of attacks in the home.
A Cumbria police spokeswoman said the force campaigned to encourage victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to come forward and report incidents.
First published at 16:10, Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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Are figures not kept of men being assaulted in a similar way?