West Yorkshire Police is launching a new campaign aimed at perpetrators of domestic abuse to coincide with the international 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence.
The ‘It’s in your hands’ campaign is targeted at both men and women who are concerned about their behaviour, whether this is physical violence or controlling tendencies. The message is that there is still time to change and support available to do it.
The campaign launch includes a video featuring a reformed offender talking about the impact that a conviction had on his life and encouraging others in their situation to seek help to change their behaviour.
The 16 Days of Action is a global initiative, starting on White Ribbon Day (Monday, 25 November) and ending on International Human Rights Day (Tuesday, 10 December).
Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said:
“We do a lot of work to encourage those affected by domestic abuse to break the cycle and seek help. Our message with this campaign is that ultimately it is in the perpetrators’ hands and their hands only to change their behaviour for good.
“There are organisations across West Yorkshire who are completely independent of the police who help both men and women to address the root causes of their violent or controlling behaviour and change their mind-set. While they do work with people who have been arrested, it doesn’t need to get to that stage and we are encouraging people to make the call now before it gets that far.
“Families can be torn apart by domestic abuse but we also know a lot of people want to do what they can to keep their family together. Ultimately, the earlier that you get help to understand and change the way you behave, the better chance you have of fixing your relationship with your partner and protecting any children in your household.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire, said:
“The effects of what are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which include domestic abuse, are becoming much more widely understood. It’s crucial that as part of our efforts to tackle these issues we raise awareness of the further and very damaging consequences of domestic abuse in the hope that it will help trigger a change in behaviour.
“It is all about getting help at the earliest stage possible from support organisations who can work with you to change your behaviour if you are concerned that you’re becoming aggressive or controlling towards your partner.
“Anyone who is concerned about their own behaviour should seek help. As this campaign shows, there is support out there for them to do it.
“We will continue to do everything we can collectively to keep all victims of domestic abuse safe. I would ask for everyone’s help in promoting this campaign to ensure the message gets as far and wide as possible in affecting positive steps to change damaging behaviours.”
More information about the campaign and contact details for organisations across West Yorkshire offering group and individual support are available at: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/InYourHands