Merton Council is announcing a series of measures to tackle domestic violence to coincide with the International Day Against Violence Against Women which takes place on 25 November.

Merton Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) recently agreed £2,000 of funding towards a pilot scheme to help victims of domestic violence in Lavender Ward

The Council also plans to recruit staff to form a team that will tackle issues relating to domestic violence and racial harassment. The positions should be in place by March 2001.

There were more than 2000 recorded instances of domestic violence in Merton last year and the Police believe that this is an underestimate of the real level of this crime.

The search has shown that the average victim of domestic violence endures more than 30 attacks before seeking help and may approach up to ten agencies before getting the help they need.

The Council and its partners are seeking to develop a streamlined service that meets the needs of victims and sanctions and deters perpetrators.

Councillor Maxi Martin, Chair of Merton Domestic Violence Forum, said: “Domestic violence is a sickening fact of life that no-one should have to deal with in a so-called civilised society.

“The international day is designed to get this subject out in the open and only then can we start to think about eradicating it. Merton has agreed to these measures as a beginning to dealing with the problem in the borough and we hope to see real results in the future.”