YEP Says, May 1: Now let’s shatter the silence that surrounds abuse

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WHEN we launched our special YEP Voice of Leeds summits we hoped they would provide a forum for coming up with ideas to tackle some of the most important issues that face the city.

WHEN we launched our special YEP Voice of Leeds summits we hoped they would provide a forum for coming up with ideas to tackle some of the most important issues that face the city.

And, with the help of readers and invited experts, they’ve done exactly that.

Our latest summit, looking at domestic violence, has triggered a rallying call for Leeds as a whole to collectively take action against an issue that often remains hidden view.

The latest figures tell us that domestic violence is still an all too common occurrence in Leeds homes.

There were just short of 15,000 recorded incidents in the city last year – encompassing a wide range of abuse from physical and sexual to emotional, psychological and even financial.

And that’s thought to be just the tip of the iceberg, with many more victims either too frightened or embarrassed to come forward.

So the message that came out of the YEP’s summit, that we all have a responsibility to keep an eye out for suspected cases, is an important one.

Most victims work for someone – as do those who carry out the abuse. What’s needed is a climate where businesses, schools, sports clubs and every one of us is alive to this problem and is committed to flagging up concerns.

Those responsible for domestic violence thrive on silence – it’s time for us to shatter it.

Time to honour the black flash

THE story of Albert Johanneson remains one of the saddest in football. The young South African seemed to have the world at his feet as he lit up the wing at Elland Road.

Alcohol would end up taking its toll, the player known as the Black Flash found dead in a Leeds tower block at the age of 55.

But it’s important to remember the positives. Today, Johanneson is hailed as a courageous pioneer who paved the way for the scores of black players that make up the ranks of the Premier League.

Twenty years after his death, it would be fitting if that was acknowledged with a statue outside the ground where he made his name.

PIC: Simon Hulme

YEP Says: Dust ourselves down Leeds and become a cultural success