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Calderdale Has Highest Levels Of Domestic Abuse In West Yorkshire

It comes as West Yorkshire Police launch a campaign to combat the issue.

Calderdale consistently has the highest levels of domestic abuse in West Yorkshire, councillors have been told.

Although levels are currently falling, this led to councillors researching a report which makes seven recommendations around different aspects of their findings.

Presenting the report to Cabinet, which agreed to ask officers to compile a detailed response, Coun Helen Rivron (Lab, Ovenden) said the cross-party report looked at how domestic abuse was being addressed by different agencies in Calderdale.

The report did not examine causes, but that would be a valuable piece of work to be looked into in the future, she said.

Interviewees included staff from different areas across the council, from the voluntary sector and from the health trust and were confident the report fairly reflected the evidence they heard.

“We’ve tried to focus on where scrutiny can make a difference rather than saying why areas we would like more money or to change national policy,” said Coun Rivron.

Councillors making up the working party found a high level of commitment among interviewees to do their best for victims of domestic abuse. Day-to-day joint working was going well.

Coun Rivron said it was important to point out there were a couple of areas of difference among the working party.

Regarding the high level of incidents that were repeat incidents, the majority view was this was not because domestic abuse was worse in Calderdale than anywhere else but that victims had more confidence in the system and were willing to report incidents, detailed and accurately.

The minority view, which was expressed by a council officer, was that there were more, and more violent, incidents in Calderdale.

There were some good examples of agency working, such as the Domestic Abuse Hub, of which the authority could be justifiably proud, she said.

The issue of children being the hidden victims of domestic abuse also arose, and some might also have disabilities including learning difficulties, had no resource to public funds and might be victims of honour-based violence, said Coun Rivron, who added this was an area where more research in the future would be useful.

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