Do not suffer in silence - that was the message from Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, to victims of domestic abuse across Yorkshire and beyond.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) year ending March 2018, an estimated 7.9% of women (1.3m) and 4.2% of men (695,000) experienced domestic abuse in the last year.
Mrs Mulligan said domestic abuse stayed with victims and their families for many years, and that it was right that the force had prioritised that part of policing over recent years.
“I am pleased to see North Yorkshire outperforming most forces in ensuring those who commit domestic abuse are brought to justice and encouraged that it appears more people are reporting incidents rather than suffering in silence,” she said.
“This shows the dedication and effort of North Yorkshire Police officers and staff is paying dividends, as well as the network of charities who provide invaluable support to victims.
“Despite these figures, I am still worried that many incidents of domestic abuse will be hiding in some of our more rural and isolated areas. Initial indications from national research currently underway for the National Rural Crime Network seems to prove victims in these areas are less likely to come forward, and also put up with abuse for longer.
“Given that, I would like to see even more being done in those areas to support victims who are afraid to come forward or don’t think it will make a difference. I will be working with the Chief Constable and specialist charity IDAS, amongst others, to ensure we improve services in those areas and make sure victims are protected and supported.
“For any victims reading this, wherever you are, I hope you are reassured that if you come forward you will be supported.
“If don’t want to involve the police, for whatever reason, you can contact IDAS directly. The key things is – please do not suffer in silence.”