Domestic Abuse – West Yorkshire Police Update

This is a new communication from West Yorkshire Police about Domestic Abuse and how to report it and how the police remain committed to combating it.

West Yorkshire Police understands that the Coronavirus lockdown can be a difficult time for everyone, but can be especially worrying if you are a victim of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse remains a priority for the Force and we are still here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you need help to escape an abusive relationship.  Leaving your home because you are a victim of domestic abuse is a legitimate reason to breach the Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ instruction and you will not get into trouble for doing this.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality and help is available for everyone.

Many people believe that domestic abuse only involves physical violence, and while this is one common form of abuse, it can also include controlling behaviour, threats, intimidation and harassment.  It can take place between intimate partners or family members.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson  said:

It will undoubtedly be a time of heightened worry for victims of domestic abuse and it may seem like you have no escape from your abuser. 
“You should be reassured; we are here for you and we will remain here for you throughout this period of isolation.
“Despite the ongoing demand from the covid-19 pandemic, domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour remains a priority for West Yorkshire Police and we will support you however we can

There are various options available to report domestic abuse and lots of agencies who can give advice and support if you aren’t ready to speak to the Police.  There is lots of information and contact details on the West Yorkshire Police website.

To report domestic abuse you should call the Police on 101, but if the crime is in progress or there is a danger to life you should always call 999 immediately.

If you need to contact the police in an emergency but you aren’t able, or are afraid to speak, you can use the ‘Silent Solution’. You should call 999 and listen to the instructions from the operator.

If you need to report domestic abuse but it isn’t an emergency situation, you can use the West Yorkshire Police online reporting form.  This will be dealt with in the same way as a call to 101, but creates an opportunity to make a report without having to speak on the phone.