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AUDIO: Domestic abuse victims urged not to suffer in silence

AUDIO: Domestic abuse victims urged not to suffer in silence

Published at 7:01am 18th December 2015. (Updated at 1:06pm 18th December 2015)

Cases of domestic abuse are on the rise in North Yorkshire, with more than 9,000 reports made to police last year. 

The charity IDAS is concerned that victims of violence across Harrogate and Craven will suffer in silence this Christmas.

It says for every person who seeks help, at least four others don't.

The charity supported over 2,000 people last year, and accommodated 100 families in its refuges.

Last month, it launched a new campaign to try and reach out to people who may not realise they're suffering from domestic abuse. 

It's not only IDAS which is concerned about the rising number of cases.

This Christmas, police in England and Wales are reporting a "staggering" 31% rise in cases of domestic abuse between 2013 and 2015.

Sarah Hill, Director of IDAS, said: "These figures demonstrate that we must all work together to support those affected by domestic abuse and ensure that they feel confident to come forward and seek help.

"We would encourage them to get in touch. We work closely with the police locally and have received additional funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that support is available across the county."

IDAS says financial concerns, increased alcohol consumption, unrealistic expectations and family tensions make Christmas a stressful time for most families.

However, when there is already domestic abuse happening within a family, these tensions can escalate and result in someone getting hurt.

IDAS has two refuges in the county, which can accommodate 18 families. 

Stray FM has been given behind-the-scenes access to the Harrogate refuge to find out more:  

This woman, who wants to be known as Lorraine, has received support from IDAS and told Stray FM her story:

We've also spoken to a woman who wants to be known as Hannah:

Chris Davis is a Project Manager for IDAS in Craven: 

IDAS recommends these small steps for people who feel that their behaviour is causing problems for them or their loved ones:

  • Recognise when your anger is rising and act to deal with this at the earliest point.
  • Take time out. Remove yourself from the situation, but explain to a partner that you plan to do this and that this is to moderate your behaviour, not to punish them.
  • Use your time out appropriately. Don’t drink or spend time with people who may also feel aggression is normal. Choose to spend time with someone who will calm you, rather than make your anger worse.
  • Tell yourself Christmas is a couple of days to enjoy with your family. Abuse can lead to you losing your family. It's up to you to manage your behaviour, and if you do, your family will still be around for you after Christmas.
  • Think about the childhood memories you want your children to have.

IDAS runs a voluntary programme, Positive Steps, for men who want to change their behaviour.

For more information, e-mail info@idas.org.uk

If you're affected by domestic abuse, call IDAS on 03000 110 110 or visit www.idas.org.uk