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Domestic abuse victims encouraged to talk this Christmas

By Mellissa Dzinzi

VICTIMS OF domestic abuse in West Yorkshire are being encouraged to talk about their situation in the run-up to the festive period.

Many people are still suffering from domestic violence because of the stigma around abuse, according to a domestic violence service in Leeds.

Almost two million people are victims of domestic abuse every year but only 1.1 million cases are ever reported by the police.

Janice Fife, head of services at Leeds Domestic Violence Services, said: “There is still a stigma attached to domestic violence and abuse and the more people talk about it the better.

“Often people do not realise that they are suffering from domestic violence and abuse, or feel embarrassed to talk about it. They do not want to come forward.”

The call comes shortly after West Yorkshire Police launched a campaign to encourage more people to report domestic abuse.

The campaign features 16 days of videos featuring people role playing a situation where a domestic violence victim needs help.

Catherine Hankinson, Assistant Chief Constable said: “This terrible crime often happens behind closed doors and we are absolutely committed to putting the needs and wishes of the victim at the heart of what we do.”

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, added: “We do recognise that not everyone is comfortable with reporting instances to the police and that is why there are third party reporting centres and other routes to report through including helplines.”

If you have been a victim, or witnessed domestic abuse or have suspicions that someone you know could be being abused you can call the 24 hour national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Main Image: West Yorkshire Police

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