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Helpline for the victims.

An independent helpline has been set up to run throughout the campaign in December and January.

It has been set up by Wearside Women in Need, using cash contributions from Northumbria Police, friends and businesses and will be manned by experienced staff at the group.

Mike Craik said: "We felt setting up an independent helpline would encourage victims to seek help because we know there is a massive under-reporting of domestic abuse to the police.

"Hopefully the existence of the helpline would encourage victims to get support before their situation escalates."

Wearside Women in Need director Claire Phillips said: "Domestic abuse is kept in the shadows. This campaign is groundbreaking. It will save lives."

The helpline, available during December and January, is 0800 066 5555. Victims of domestic abuse can also call police on 08456 043 043, or visit www.northumbriapolice.uk/domesticviolence.

In an emergency call 999. Abusers who want to change their ways can call Respect on 0845 122 8609.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2006
Words:162
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