Police forces across the country, including West Yorkshire Police are showing their support today for LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Awareness Day.
The day aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse in LGBT+ communities and encourage victims to come forward.
And it delivers a very clear message – ‘There’s No Pride In Domestic Abuse’.
It has been launched in the UK by the Co-Chair of the National LGBT+ Police Network, PC Amy Tapping, and runs alongside similar days taking place across the world.
This follows the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation in Australia setting-up an inaugural awareness day last year, and after speaking to colleagues on the other side of the world, PC Tapping was determined to bring an event closer to home.
She hopes the day will ultimately encourage more victims of abuse to come forward and seek support.
PC Tapping said: “Domestic abuse is significantly under-reported in the LGBT+ community and it is our aim to not only promote the awareness day and encourage more victims to come forward, but we want to go beyond that and continue to build better relations within these communities.
“Many victims are suffering in silence and we want to ensure they know we can provide support and help give them a voice.
“A lot of work is under way nationally to better understand the needs of the LGBT+ community and listen to how we can further support victims of domestic abuse.
“We all have a part to play in protecting vulnerable victims and I would encourage everyone to show their support for this awareness day.
“It is important we all continue to make this commitment year-round and do what we can to support each other – together we can make a real difference.”
Detective Superintendent Paula Bickerdike, of West Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Central Governance Unit said: “West Yorkshire Police supports this new awareness day which seeks to highlight that there is no pride in domestic abuse.
“People may have preconceptions of what domestic abuse is and who it affects, but we see victims and offenders from all backgrounds and communities. We also know that domestic abuse is under-reported and that when victims do come forward, there has often already been a pattern of offending.
“It is important that any victim of domestic abuse has the confidence to come forward to the police at the earliest opportunity. We have safeguarding teams based across the Force with officers who are specially trained in dealing with these kinds of offences and supporting victims.
“If anyone is concerned about the potential of being overheard on the phone, we have introduced an easy to use online form for victims to report incidents of domestic abuse. The website also includes the option to leave the page quickly if needed.
“As people have started meeting up with friends and family more, there is also the potential for people to witness concerning behaviour or have someone tell them about abuse occurring within their home. We accept both reports from the victim and third party reports of domestic abuse via 101 or 101 Live Chat on our website. You should always call 999 in an emergency.”
The online domestic abuse reporting form is available at: Report Domestic Abuse | West Yorkshire Police.