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Date added: 25 November 2009

Domestic Violence Awareness Week 

White balloons flag up action on domestic violence 
 
Domestic Violence Awareness Week (23 - 27 November) was marked with the release of white balloons from the Civic Offices today.
 
The Community Safety Partnership and other agencies working to address domestic violence organised the event.
 
 
A white ribbon was also tied around a tree outside the Civic Offices, and people were given white ribbons to wear.
 
Between April 2008 and April 2009, 2815 domestic abuse incidents were reported to the police in Swindon, but it is estimated that only one fifth of incidents are reported.
 
A new Swindon Outreach Service for people experiencing domestic violence is proving to be a vital source of support and information for people living in the borough.
 
 
Since the service opened its doors to people seeking domestic violence-related advice in July this year, 50 people have been supported.
 
"Domestic violence and abuse can be invisible because it often takes place behind closed doors, but it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or race,"  Lin Williams, Domestic Violence Co-ordinator for the Community Safety Partnership.
 
"The new Domestic Violence Outreach Service is enabling people in need of practical and emotional help to access local advice and support, and its making a difference.
 
People who need help and advice on domestic violence issues can contact the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 200 0247 or the Swindon Outreach Service 01793 642426.
 
In an emergency, people should always ring 999.
 
Get involved
 
The Swindon and Wiltshire 2009 sixth Annual Domestic Abuse Conference for practitioners will be held at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon on Friday 27 November from 9.30am to 4.00pm.
 
Speakers will include Joanna Sharpen from the Greater London Domestic Violence project, Kate Iwi from Respect, Christine Barter from the NSPCC/University of Bristol and a performance from Geese Theatre on the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people.
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