Employers, charities, schools, sports clubs along with council members and police are calling to work together to tackle domestic violence.
Leaders from private, public and third sectors gathered for the Voice of Leeds Summit and discussed what they could do to tackle domestic violence, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Over the past three years domestic violence has caused the deaths of 17 people in the city.
Supt Sam Miller, of Safer Leeds, branded the number of murders “outrageous” and said: “The scale of the problem is just something we need to accept and agree. All our victims are generally employed by someone. All our perpetrators work somewhere. [We need to] talk to businesses and HR managers to say: ‘Are you actively searching for potential victims, witnesses, children in your environment?.”
Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for safer communities, said domestic violence is now one of the city’s top priorities. He said: “We have to never be in the situation again where we have dedicated professionals in organisations doing good work with families and young people but there’s no connectivity and it’s not joined up.”
The summit also highlighted the importance of focusing on prevention and aftercare – for offenders as well as victims, to break the city’s “high level of repeat offending”.
Pip Goff, programmes manager at Leeds Community Foundation, who chaired the summit, said afterwards: “It was fantastic to hear from a range of business and voluntary sector leaders that share a collective goal of tackling domestic violence which can have a devastating impact on families and communities. We want local communities to have the confidence to come forward and seek the support they need.We hope this summit will inform local businesses and people of the services that are available and how everyone can play their part in addressing this issue.”
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