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Disturbing statistics.

Home, they say, is where the heart is. But as our shocking figures show today, too often it is also where Hell lives.

Crimes recorded for domestic violence in the region rose by a disturbing 61% in just two months.

The figures come through Northumbria police's End the Silence campaign, which ran through December and January, when reports of domestic abuse traditionally rise. The force should be applauded for taking a hard line.

No-one should have to live with abuse in his or her home, but what has also come out of this campaign is that there are not enough safe houses in the area for those who have had the courage to leave abusive relationships.

Chief Constable Mike Craik has called on more safe housing for victims, and we back his view. It is appalling that a woman from this area was forced with her five children to move to a refuge in Cambridge.

While safe housing groups claim no-one in a desperate situation would find themselves with nowhere to go, it is surely better they are found refuge in an area in which they feel comfortable and where they will have the courage to pick up the pieces of their lives again?

Settling in

Is life really that grim up North?

According to Judith O'Reilly, the majestic countryside of Northumberland simply cannot compete in many ways with the hustle and bustle of London.

She moved up here just over a year ago and has been logging her thoughts and struggles to adapt to country life in a blog which has resulted in a book deal.

While she may miss her "decent" skinny lattes, she does appear to be settling into things in the region we know as being second to none.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 20, 2007
Previous Article:Life in London was simpler. Cafes knew how to make a decent skinny latte and muddy wellies weren't de rigeur.
Next Article:End the Silence, and continue the fightback.

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