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New Domestic Abuse Scheme in North Yorkshire

New Domestic Abuse Scheme in North Yorkshire

Published by Jon Burke at 6:31am 4th October 2019.

"Domestic abuse does not discriminate - anyone can be a victim."

That's from North Yorkshire Police as it starts a new awareness campaign, highlighting the different forms abuse can take and the range of relationships which can be abusive.

North Yorkshire Police Multi Agency Tasking and Coordination manager, Bob Williams, said:

"Nothing a victim of domestic abuse could tell me could shock me."

He's been speaking as part of a campaign by the force to highlight that anyone, irrespective of their age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or even where they live, can be a victim of abuse.

Bob also said:

"I am not here to sit in judgement on anyone. I am here to support victims and help them take back control of their life, so they can make their own decisions about their own future. 

We understand that coming forward and seeking help can be intimidating for victims. Talking through the intimate and painful details of your life is not something many people want to do. However, through this campaign we want to reassure all victims, this is what we are here to do - to listen, to understand, and find the best way to support you to move forward.

It's true that the majority of cases we deal with involve violence between male and female intimate partners, with the male partner perpetrating the violence. However, it's important to say that we do also help victims from same sex relationships, male victims, victims of honour based abuse, elderly victims, disabled victims, victims who may not be able to speak English, victims who have been subjected to abuse by their child and victims who live in rural, isolated locations.

Each set of circumstances we deal with is as individual as victim themselves; there is no 'typical' case of domestic abuse. So please do not be deterred from getting help because you think we will not understand your situation."

Bob has been speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio's Jon Burke..

North Yorkshire Police's Domestic Abuse Officers work with a number partners from social care, health services, prevention services, housing services and community safety partnerships, to ensure victims are appropriately safeguarded and perpetrators are effectively managed.

They also work closely with a number of agencies and charities to enable bespoke support services to be put in place for victims, dependent upon their circumstances and experiences.

Bob said:

"We work with fantastic partner agencies; such as IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Service), Karma Nirvana, Mankind and the Men's Advice Line to name a few - who all understand that the challenges that victims face to take action against an abusive partner, can be as diverse as the individuals themselves. We are all committed to working together to ensure the person seeking help feels supported and empowered." 

Over the past year, North Yorkshire Police received over 100 reports of domestic abuse from victims in a same sex relationship, 88 reports where the victim was from a BAME community and 184 cases where the victim was over 65.

However, with charities such as Stonewall stating that one in four lesbian and bi women have experienced domestic abuse and almost half (49%) of all gay and bi men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16, North Yorkshire Police are concerned that a large number of cases are going unreported.

Similarly, The Office for National Statistics reported in 2015 that one in five of the UK population are registered disabled. However, this is not reflected in North Yorkshire Police's domestic abuse figures, again indicating cases are not being reported to police.

This is why the force are launching their campaign, in the hope it challenges the misconception that victims will not be taken seriously, or that the police will not understand or believe the victim.

Bob continued:

"As the key message of our campaign states - domestic abuse does not discriminate - it doesn't care about your race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or even where you live - violence can be experienced by anyone, at any point in their life.

We do not discriminate either, no matter your background or your situation, working alongside our partners, we will support you to move forward with your life."

Echoing the campaign message and highlighting the support available through IDAS, an IDAS spokesperson said:

"At IDAS, our teams offer non-judgemental, confidential support to anyone affected by domestic abuse. We are able to offer some support using language lines and translations services and we also have a number of staff who speak different languages.

IDAS were the first service to offer an online chat facility which enables people to access support via our website between 4-6pm Monday to Friday. This is helpful for anyone who may be particularly concerned about their anonymity or who finds telephone conversations difficult.

We would urge anyone who is affected by domestic abuse to contact us for emotional and practical support. We will listen and we will never tell you what to do. You can contact us on our helpline 03000 110 110, via our website or email"

You can also report crimes to police by calling 101 and always dial 999 in an emergency.


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