THOUSANDS of people in Kirklees face domestic violence every year.
In the 12 months to the end of March this year there were 5,077 reported incidents, from verbal arguments to assaults and worse.
While that figure was down, from 5,796 the previous year, the number of crimes recorded rose, from 1,870 to 2,041.
Charges brought against people accused of domestic violence-related offences also rose, from 769 to 1,000.
But the figures belie the true impact of domestic violence in the district.
And from today, Kirklees Domestic Violence Week is underway to highlight the issues.
It is the second annual week of its kind.
And the focus this year is on so-called ‘hidden victims’.
Insp Andy Leonard, of the Kirklees vulnerable victims unit, said the emphasis was specifically on children, disabled people, older people, those in minority and ethnic communities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community.
He added: “The aim is really getting people to report incidents to us and have the confidence to come forward.
“People need to know that people are there to help them and that they can make a difference to their lives.”
Domestic Violence Week aims to encourage victims to report incidents and access the support they need.
The number of domestic violence investigators in Kirklees has already been increased, from eight to 14, and new technology, like head-cameras to record incidents, has been introduced.
From October, an independent domestic violence advocate will be employed to help victims going through the court process.
The first ever Kirklees Domestic Violence Strategy will be launched on Wednesday.
Katie Pennington, of Kirklees Council’s safer stronger communities service, welcomed the strategy.
She said: “It aims to reduce domestic abuse and improve the protection and support to families and individuals who experience abuse. It also aims to ensure that appropriate action is taken against the offender.”
During Domestic Violence Week posters will go up with contact details for the various services available to victims.
A series of events will also be held to get the message across to the groups of hidden victims identified by the campaign.
This week the Examiner will be running a series of features on each of the groups identified as hidden victims.