A ‘SNAPSHOT survey’ has revealed that more than 100 people sought help or advice about domestic violence in Kirklees in just one day.
The worrying figure is revealed after it emerged that 5,796 domestic violence incidents were recorded by the police in the area from April, 2007, to March this year.
All this week a campaign is running in Kirklees to highlight the problem.
A wide range of organisations who help domestic violence victims were asked to complete the snapshot survey last month. It was compiled by the Kirklees Safer Stronger Communities Service’s anti-domestic violence team.
The survey was sent to public and private sector and voluntary organisations.
These included family doctors, nurses, health visitors, midwives, dentists, accident and emergency departments, council departments and solicitors, the police, probation service, the Citizens Advice Bureau, The Law Centre and housing agencies.
Thirty-three agencies responded to the survey.
On Yorkshire Day – August 1 – alone they reported receiving 106 inquiries about domestic violence.
Of these 98 were women and eight were men. Seventy-seven people had children.
The total of live domestic violence cases that all the 33 agencies were dealing with on that day was 1,254. The information will be used to plan anti-domestic violence services.
Kirklees anti-domestic violence strategic coordinator Thelma Singleton said: "It is well known that domestic violence is under-reported. The cases the police and agencies such as ourselves deal with are just the tip of the iceberg."
She added: "We would like to thank the agencies for taking part in this snapshot survey, which will further our understanding of domestic violence and help shape future action in Kirklees."
This week’s campaign is being led by the Domestic Violence Forum, set up by Kirklees Safer Stronger Communities Service.
Agencies involved include Kirklees Council, the police and Pennine Domestic Violence Group.
Clr Khizar Iqbal, chairman of Kirklees Safer Stronger Communities Partnership, said: "This campaign aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage more victims to report it.
"The initiative is part of a wider multi-agency action plan to reduce violent crime in Kirklees."
Police inspector Andrew Leonard said: "Domestic violence is a crime and the issue affects people across all communities, some of whom may feel too frightened to take action.
"Our message is that there are services out there to support you. You will be listened to and taken seriously."
Domestic violence does not just cover physical attacks and nasty threats.
Many victims are subject to psychological, emotional and financial abuse. Psychological abuse includes constant destructive criticism and humiliation, ridiculing, name-calling and emotional blackmail, such as threatening to remove the children or report the victim to welfare agencies unless they comply with demands.
Some make threats to kill or harm the victim or their children or even to commit suicide.
Financial abuse includes withholding money so the victim can’t buy essentials such as food. In such cases the perpetrator takes total control of the finances without consent.
Domestic violence information stands will be at supermarkets all this week including the Pack Horse Centre in Huddersfield town centre today (Tues) and Saturday, Asda’s Huddersfield store tomorrow, Tesco on Thursday, Morrisons in Heckmondwike on Friday and Asda in Dewsbury on Sunday.