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Today Police and Crime Commissioners alongside Chief Constables will launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the support available to victims of domestic violence, highlighting new policing powers to protect those people suffering domestic violence and to encourage more people living with such abuse to come forward and seek help.

With an average of 100 domestic abuse reports every day in West Yorkshire the scale of the problem here is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
Women are at more risk than men from such crime and abuse in the home can often be hidden.
Domestic violence can have far reaching effects, especially where it happens again and again to the same people. The cycle of abuse and violence destroys lives but can also seriously affect the health and wellbeing of children in our communities and can drive families from their homes.

Domestic violence is rightly a priority for people and partners across the county. West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, made tackling domestic violence a priority in his Police and Crime Plan that sets the direction for policing and community safety over five years. But this issue cannot be dealt with by West Yorkshire Police alone. It demands a multi-agency approach that requires effective policing alongside better prevention and intervention.

That is why Mark is working closely with Community Safety Partnerships across West Yorkshire to explore new and better ways to tackle domestic abuse in partnership and last week agreed together with the five Labour Council Leaders an allocated £1million fund over the next two years for dealing more effectively in partnership with the issues domestic violence and serious sexual offences.

At a time of unprecedented government cuts to all our public services – West Yorkshire Police is being cut by £152 million by 2016/17 – more integrated partnership working is not only the right approach but the only approach to delivering improved services across the county. Mark is working closely with criminal justice agencies and with the third sector to make sure the services commissioned provide the right support to those that need help when and in the way they need it.

Specifically this week the West Yorkshire Police Service and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be raising awareness of domestic violence protection orders to be introduced later this year and importantly urging anybody who is suffering from abuse not to suffer in silence from this unacceptable crime but to come forward for the support and help they need.

Domestic abuse should not be tolerated by anyone who is a victim or anyone who knows someone is a victim of such a serious crime. For help and advice on the issue of domestic violence call West Yorkshire Police on 101 and ask for the Police Safeguarding Unit.

Isabel Owen

Isabel is Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire. She provides advice and support to the Police and Crime Commissioner and manages the external affairs of the OPCC. She was formerly Head of Partnerships at a Leeds based debt advice charity.

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