CUMBRIA Police helps those suffering domestic abuse all-year-round – and officers are sending a clear message this offending will not be tolerated ahead of the World Cup and the festive season.

Victims are never alone. Police will be highlighting the support services available during a campaign launching this week.

The World Cup starts on Sunday and it will run into the festive season.

The weeks covering major football tournaments and the Christmas period tend to lead to increase in reports of domestic abuse.

But there is support available and people don’t have to suffer in silence.

Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop said: “Neither football nor Christmas are a cause of domestic abuse.

“But environments involving high emotions and alcohol consumption can sometimes lead to violent or abusive behaviour.

“We want everyone to enjoy both the football and all the good things the festive season can offer.

“But nobody should ever have to suffer domestic abuse - and if you’re scared, there is help out there.

“If you are suffering, please get in touch. We are here to help and support you. Even if right now you only have questions, I would urge you to contact us.”

DCI Yallop added: “There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria; everything from counselling to rehoming, in addition to many other services available nationally.

“This could be financial advice, support around substance or alcohol misuse or emotional health and wellbeing.”

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DCI Yallop said: “I’d also like to appeal to potential offenders to stop and think about the harm they are doing to a family member, loved one or ex-partner.

“This type of abuse and offending will never be tolerated and they have to realise it is their responsibility and there is never an excuse.

“However, with the support of our partners we will work with offenders who face up to their responsibilities to address their behaviour to stop the cycle of repeat offending.”

Advice and help for those who want to put their offending behind them is available through the national Respect phoneline on 0808 8024040 Another service is Turning The Spotlight and They Matter, which is offered by Victim Support Cumbria (contact details below). Both services work with perpetrators of abuse.

DCI Yallop added: “These services can be important in helping perpetrators address what may be underlying causes of their behaviour, such as drug or alcohol abuse or mental health issues.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “If you have been or believe you will be a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out to the police- they are there to help.

“However, I understand that this is not an option for everyone. If this is the case, there are multiple victims services that can provide support without reporting to the police.

“I would urge anyone who has suffered from domestic abuse to reach out for help – you are not alone, please don’t suffer in silence.”

How do you report domestic abuse to police?

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this by calling 101.

Always dial 999 in an emergency.

How do I access support services?

You can access support services regardless of whether you have reported a crime to the police.

To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0808 1689 111 or locally on 0300 303 0157 – or go to: