Our local Councillors discussed domestic abuse at the last meeting of the Inner South Community Committee on 9 December 2020.
Gerry Shevlin from Safer Leeds presented a report about the current situation in South Leeds. There were 16,661 incidents of domestic abuse reported in the nine months January to September 2020, with Middleton Park ward amongst the top three wards in the city. Whilst this is higher than previous years, Leeds had not seen the sharp spike in cases that other areas had. Of those reports, 55% involved physical violence.
26 people have died as a result of domestic abuse in Leeds over the last ten years. 22 (85%) were women and 11 were aged over 50.
Leeds operates a multi-agency action planning forum called MARAC where high risk cases are discussed and appropriate support is planned. The group dealt with 3,725 cases in 2019-20.
The meeting also heard about local initiatives including quality mark training provided to staff at Health For All, Hamara and other community organisations. This will staff offer appropriate advice and signposting to services to anyone who discloses they are suffering domestic abuse.
Asking all women if they have suffered abuse has also become a routine question at GP surgeries, much like questions about drinking alcohol and smoking. Again anyone disclosing abuse will be signposted to services that can support them.
Where to get help
In an emergency call 999. If you can’t talk press 55 when prompted, the operator will stay on the line with you
Call the Leeds 24 hour domestic abuse phone line on (0113) 246 0401
Ask for “ANI” at any pharmacy offering a Safe Space, including Boots, Superdrug and many independent pharmacies. You will be taken to a private consulting room and offered support
Leeds Women’s Aid run a refuge and offer advice a support: leedswomensaid.org.uk
If you need to travel to take up a refuge place you can travel free by train on the Rail To Refuge scheme
Find more information on the Leeds City Council website here
Other useful organisations:
Behind Closed Doors: Leeds based support for peopole affected by domestic violence and abuse www.behind-closed-doors.org.uk
Refuge: run a freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 www.refuge.org.uk
Respect: run a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse 0808 8010 327 mensadviceline.org.uk
Karma Nirvana support victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriages karmanirvana.org.uk