HARROWING scenes of domestic violence will be shown on TV this month in the soap Coronation Street.
Landlady Shelley Unwin will feature in "sinister and spine-chilling" episodes, when her builder boyfriend, Charlie Stubbs, turns on her after months of control and intimidation.
Kirklees Council's domestic violence co-ordinator, Thelma Singleton, is philosophical about the media's portrayal of the subject.
"It reflects public interest and awareness if popular culture are using it," she said.
"Whether its a song by Ms Dynamite or an episode in a soap, I'm not really bothered - as long as people are talking about it.
"The day I got my job here, all that people were talking about was Jim McDonald hitting Liz on Coronation Street. EastEnders also accurately portrayed the subject."
Victims of domestic violence are among the "at risk groups" which are to be tackled in Kirklees's Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy.
The plan is produced by the Kirklees Safer Communities Partnership after an investigation to find out what types of crime are causing the greatest worries in Kirklees and what can be done to deal with them.
People can take part in the audit on line at www.kirkleespartnerships.org
"Domestic violence affects all women. It makes no difference what age, colour or creed they are," said Thelma.
"We are helping women aged from 16 right through to their 70s and from every community. The black and ethnic minority communities are neither no better or no worse.
"It can take all forms, from physical, sexual, financial, psychological, emotional, verbal or a combination of different types of abuse. Physical abuse ranges from a slap to murder."
Many victims of domestic violence suffer for years before reporting their abuser to police.
The unit says only 27% of all incidents are reported. Many women can be admitted to accident and emergency units several times before reporting their husband or partner.
Some victims wait up to seven years before asking for help.
Thelma said one woman who had been helped by the unit had been told for 19 years that she would be deported and lose her four children if she complained about her husband's treatment of her, which took the form of degrading and emotional abuse.
"It is horrendous to live life like that. This woman clearly loved her children dearly, but her husband had complete control over her.
"Within 11 weeks we had helped her to turn her life around. She had her own national insurance number and was able get information on what actions she could take and what would be the consequences."
Little is said about male victims of domestic violence, but the unit is dealing with more and more cases.
One burly 6ft 3in man had been attacked with a bicycle chain by his partner. And a pharmacist, brought to this country from Asia for an arranged marriage, was regularly beaten by his wife and her brothers and threatened with deportation
"Men find it much harder to report domestic violence as victims because of the ridicule they face from colleagues," said Thelma.
"Our aim is to raise the profile of domestic violence and make people realise they don't - and shouldn't - have to put up with it.
"We want people to take a zero tolerance approach. People's attitude to drink-driving is that they won't tolerate it and people should be prosecuted. We want domestic violence to be treated the same way."