AS a man is jailed for assaulting his pregnant partner, police are encouraging domestic abuse victims of the importance of speaking out.
Dyfed-Powys Police is urging victims not to suffer in silence, encouraging them to report incidents as soon as possible so they can be investigated and support can be put in place with various specialist agencies.
The call comes as Steven McInerney, aged 41, of Burry Port, is jailed for attempting to strangle his pregnant partner and punching her in the ribcage.
The incident took place during the early hours of March 29 at the couple’s home. The victim told officers that her partner had been drinking when he became angry and assaulted her. She swiftly left the property for safety and summoned the courage to call police before being taken to hospital.
PC Tyne Evans said: “From speaking to the victim we learned that the offender’s behaviour had escalated, and that she was becoming increasingly worried for her safety.
“While there was initially some fear about pursuing a prosecution, we were able to reassure that measures would be put in place to protect the victim and her family, and contact was made with outside agencies who could provide further specialist support.
“Once her confidence had been gained, she was fully supportive of taking police action, and we were able to progress the investigation very swiftly.”
McInerney had left the property prior to police arrival and was located and arrested within two hours of the offence being reported. He was charged with domestic related assault by beating and criminal damage, and the following day an additional charge of using racially-aggravated threatening words or behaviour to cause alarm or distress towards officers was brought the following day.
He pleaded guilty to all three offences at court, and was sentenced on April 14. He was handed an 18 week prison sentence, a restraining order preventing any contact with the victim for two years, must pay compensation of £350, and court costs of £85.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Yelland said: “We hope this sentence brings comfort to the victim, knowing that the offender cannot contact her for two years. If he breaches this order he will be committing a criminal offence, for which he could receive a prison sentence.
“We also hope that by raising awareness of this case we can reassure anyone living in an abusive relationship that police will always respond swiftly to incidents of this nature, that we treat all reports seriously and sensitively, and that ongoing support can be put in place to help you through an investigation and beyond.”
Advice for victims of domestic abuse:
• Lock or secure all windows and doors.
• If you feel unsafe at your current address, you can seek available refuge space through the 24 hour Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
• If the offender turns up at your home, call police on 999.
• Consider downloading the Hollie Guard personal safety app. You can trigger an alert if you feel in danger, immediately notifying your chosen contacts and sharing your location.
• Consider downloading the Bright Sky app, which enables you to save text, screenshots and photos safely.
• Keep your mobile phone fully charged and on your person at all times.
• Consider increasing privacy settings on your phone and social media accounts, including changing passwords.
• Raise the alarm early (eg screaming and shouting) during any future incident, and exit at the earliest opportunity.
• Consider a buddy scheme with a trusted friend, family member or neighbour, with an agreed code word you can use if you feel in danger. Ensure this friend is aware of what action to take if they hear the code word, and encourage them to call police.
• Contact police via 101 or 999 to report any further incidents, Always use 999 if you are at an immediate threat of harm.
• Clare’s Law – a domestic abuse disclosure scheme – can be applied for in respect of any new relationships. This allows police to disclose a person’s history of abusive behaviour to those who be at risk from such behaviour.
Goleudy Victim and Witness Service: Provides support for victims and witnesses, whether the incident is reported to police or not. Call: 0300 1232996 Email: email@example.com
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 8010 800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline)
Victim Support: 0845 30 30 900
National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk
National LBGT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Rape Crisis (England and Wales): 0808 802 9999 www.rapecrisis.org.uk
The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK: 0808 808 4994