Councillors look at ways to tackle domestic violence

Capiton: Profile, Jan 26, Halifax''Halifax Town Hall

Capiton: Profile, Jan 26, Halifax''Halifax Town Hall

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Calderdale Council’s Communities Scrutiny Panel will hold a special meeting to find ways of tackling domestic violence in Calderdale.

The panel will be hearing from West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson - who has made tackling domestic abuse one of his priorities.

The meeting is part of a detailed review to take an in-depth look at existing strategies for dealing with domestic violence but also future challenges.

Communities scrutiny panel chair, Coun Helen Rivron, said: “Domestic abuse is a scourge on society. It damages people mentally as well as physically, and the scars may never heal.

“We want to be sure that within Calderdale, everything is being done that can be done to protect people from abuse.

“We know that when times are tough and money is tight, people are under even more stress and one of the results of this is that domestic abuse increases so we want to know that we are as prepared as possible for further potential problems including those caused by welfare reform.”

Domestic abuse can take many forms; physical, psychological and emotional abuse as well as other controlling behaviours.

Frontline workers will talk to the panel who have day-to-day experience of dealing with abuse victims.

They want to hear about what people need to help them out of abusive environments. In Calderdale, in 2012/13, domestic violence was the main cause of homelessness with 20 of the 60 households accepted as homeless in the year, having to leave their previous home because of violence from a partner or associated person.

They also want to know what work is done with perpetrators, as nationally it’s estimated that in 2010/2011, repeat victimisation accounted for 73% of all incidents of domestic violence.

The meeting will be held in public at Halifax Town Hall on Thursday May 9 from 3pm to 7pm.