West Yorkshire working together to tackle domestic abuse (14 Dec 2017)

All 5 West Yorkshire Councils are working together with the White Ribbon Campaign, West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to tackle domestic abuse.

Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils have all pledged to continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse, encourage victims to report it and support victims throughout the process.

The commitment follows the launch of a domestic abuse awareness raising campaign and the 16 days of action which West Yorkshire Police launched in partnership with the 5 Councils and West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.

The campaign and 16 days of action look to raise awareness of domestic abuse, in particular coercive and controlling behaviour, and encourages reporting both by the victim and a third party such as a friend or family member. The initiative started on the 25 November which is also known as White Ribbon Day.

New campaign artwork has now been released to continue to raise awareness into the Christmas and New Year period where incidences of domestic abuse are known to increase.

Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "The work to tackle domestic abuse in West Yorkshire is continually growing and improving. It's so important that we receive reports, and it's crucial we all work together, with charities such as the White Ribbon Campaign, to continue to have an environment where people feel comfortable and confident to come forward.

"The White Ribbon campaign was my first official PCC visit back in November 2012 after first being elected and therefore holds a special affinity with me."

"We don't want a single person to suffer abuse, whether physical or emotional, so please come forward and report if you feel you are a victim or have suspicions someone you know is."

ACC Catherine Hankinson, West Yorkshire Police's Safeguarding Lead said: "Domestic abuse is inexcusable and I encourage victims to come forward. Our specially trained officers will treat you sensitively and professionally and will do all they can to support you.

"We and our partner agencies are totally committed to tackling this crime and to looking after vulnerable victims."

Chris Green OBE, founder of White Ribbon UK, said: "We are pleased that more men are coming forward to challenge violence against women and girls and engaging their friends, work colleagues and relatives in the discussions, speaking out against violence and challenging the culture which underpins violence."

Coun Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: "The message from the White Ribbon campaign to "never commit, condone or remain silent about male violence towards women" is an important one. We hope by Bradford Council supporting this campaign we can play our part in bringing about really change in our society."

Cllr Masood Ahmed, Kirklees Council Cabinet member, said: "In Kirklees we are very proud of our award-winning campaign, called 'It's Never Ok', which helps people to understand different types of abuse and know where they can turn for help.

"We are pleased to be working with our partners in this vital area, raising awareness, providing support and encouraging victims to report abuse."

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities said: "Leeds has demonstrated a long standing commitment to tackling violence against women and girls, since becoming the first UK city to achieve White Ribbon status in 2010. We are really proud of our White Ribbon accreditation and continue to raise awareness and galvanise support throughout the year.

"During the #WhiteRibbonLeeds campaign this year, a range of events and activities have taken place in communities and in collaboration with partners, focusing on raising awareness around coercive and controlling behaviour. Thousands of people have made pledges across the city never to commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women.

"Domestic Violence and Abuse in all its forms remains a priority for the city. We are committed to keeping the conversation going and making a difference."

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: "We are supporting the White Ribbon campaign because we want everyone to be free from fear. Domestic abuse is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our partners to tackle abuse and support those affected.

"We urge victims to please any report incidents and to be aware that support is available to them. But we also want to encourage perpetrators to also seek our help and support to change their behaviour."

To report domestic abuse and to find out more visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/domesticabuse, in an emergency, always call 999.

To find out more about The White Ribbon Campaign visit https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/.

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Pictured from left to right back row - Mark Burns-Williamson - PCC, Stuart Piper - Safeguarding Adviser OPCC, Superintendent Darren Minton - West Yorkshire Police.
From left to right fron row - Cllr Maureen Cummings -  Wakefield Council, Cllr Steve Sweeney Calderdale Council, Cllr Asghar Khan Leeds Council, , Ikram Butt - White Ribbon Campaign Ambassador.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018