Devon and Cornwall Police has launched a new domestic abuse campaign to raise awareness of controlling and coercive behaviour.

The campaign highlights the fact that no matter what form of abuse takes place - the abuser is trying to control the victim and uses abuse or violence to achieve that control.

The campaign coincides with an increase in reporting of domestic abuse incidents during January, following the festive period.

The campaign also reiterates that domestic abuse can happen to anyone, at any age, in any kind of relationship.

Detective Inspector Dave Pebworth said: "Domestic abuse is about one person having power and control over another.

"Abusers can be very subtle, clever and manipulative. The level and type may change and increase over time, often the victim doesn't realise they are being abused.

"Perpetrators can use intimidation, coercion, threats, blackmail and other tools to control their victims. Abuse isn't just physical.

"We hope this campaign will encourage people to seek help if they are in an abusive relationship, either from police or one of our partner agencies.

"We do understand that people don't always want to approach police in the first instance.

"The important thing is that people recognise abuse and that they know help is available."

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez added: "Under-reporting of domestic abuse presents a multitude of problems. On an individual case level it means perpetrators get away with it and victims go unrecognised.

"The cycle of violence continues - especially in rural areas where episodes of domestic abuse are likely to last longer as it is harder for victims to get away from abusive partners.

"I'd urge any victim of abuse to seek help - even if you don't want to report your case to police there is a whole range of help available via the Victim Care Unit and listed on the Devon & Cornwall Police website".

For help and advice about domestic abuse, visit

Alternatively call 101 to speak to police. If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.