Challenge to city on domestic violence

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ORGANISATIONS across Leeds have been urged to unite to end the scourge of domestic violence – branded one of the city’s “biggest challanges”.

More than 130 delegates attended the Leeds Domestic Violence and Abuse Conference at Headingley Carnegie Stadium yesterday after the city council made dealing with the issue one its top priorities.

During a day of workshops and speeches, the conference heard about the huge human cost of the problem in Leeds.

More than 14,000 incidents were reported in the city in 2013-14. Six people died as a result of domestic violence during the same 12-month period.

Employers were told they faced huge financial losses if domestic violence was left unchecked.

Coun Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Tackling domestic violence and abuse is one of the greatest challenges facing the city, which is why we have made it a top priority to address.

“The physical and emotional damage to victims can last a lifetime we estimate that one in four women will experience domestic violence and abuse at some time in their lives.

“We also know that many victims still keep silent and a major part of our work is how to raise awareness and encourage more victims to come forward for help and support.”

A “multi-agency hub” comprising officials from various public services has already been set up in the city centre to encourage organisations to work more closely together to identify problems. A new website has also been launched to provide information and advice for victims and their families.

Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for communities, said: “Our vision is that Leeds is a city that has a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence and abuse, where individuals, families and communities are supported to reach their potential and lead safer, healthier and happier lives.”