FAITH leaders from across Bolton have got together to tackle domestic violence.

Town hall bosses met with faith leaders as well as those who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse.

The council has worked closely with partners including Greater Manchester Police to create a Domestic Abuse and Violence Partnership and have put plans in place to tackle the problem in Bolton.

Those affected by domestic abuse were invited to a conference and given the opportunity to speak with specialist organisations, including Fortalice, Paws For Kids, Victim Support and Forbes Solicitors.

Representatives from the police and the council were also on hand to offer support and advice.

It comes as the police are also running a crackdown on domestic violence during the World Cup.

Increased tension surrounding the matches and excess alcohol consumption have been cited as causes of abuse and violence.

The conference was opened by the Bishop of Bolton the Rt Rev Christopher Edmondson, chairman of Bolton’s Faith Leader’s Forum, who stressed the issue was a major concern for all communities and faith groups.

He said: “Domestic abuse is everybody’s business, including faith leaders, organisations and community members. It’s everyone’s responsibility to end domestic abuse.

“Freedom from violence and abuse is a basic human right. Domestic abuse has no place in a caring and respectful relationship.

“Everyone, whether they have a faith or not, has an important role to play in responding to domestic violence and together we can respond effectively to domestic abuse and violence and work towards a borough where Bolton residents don’t suffer as victims of such abuse.”

Bolton Council’s cabinet member for police and community safety, Cllr Derek Burrows, said: “Domestic abuse is a very serious issue and can involve physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse which can affect anyone.

“Victims should not suffer in silence as there are people that can help and anyone witnessing domestic violence should ensure they report it.

“I really urge anyone affected to come along to the conference and find out more about what help is on offer.”

For details or to report abuse, contact police on 101 or the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 6367525.