Join us in saying ‘no’ to domestic violence

Hebden Bridge Rats signing up to the anti-domestic violence campaign
Hebden Bridge Rats signing up to the anti-domestic violence campaign

THIS week the Hebden Bridge Times is starting a campaign against domestic violence in the upper Calder Valley.

Working with the White Ribbon Campaign, the national charity based in Mytholmroyd, we are aiming to get 500 readers to back our “Speak up, sign up” joint campaign by the end of 2012.

Last year in the upper Calder Valley, which includes Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, Luddenden Foot and Ripponden, there were 542 r incidents of domestic violence reported to the police.

Chris Green, founder of the White Ribbon Campaign which is against male violence towards women, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Hebden Bridge Times on this campaign and realise how important it is.

“People don’t like to admit they are, or were, victims of domestic violence or perpetrators of it, but hopefully this campaign will lead to more people coming forward.

“We want to bring to an end the

attitude of ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.”

Reported cases of domestic violence in the Upper Valley have steadily risen over the last three years, with an increase of 109 from 2008 to 2011.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, for Calderdale Police, said: “In the past 12 months Upper Valley has seen an increase in domestic violence incidents from approximately nine incidents per week to 10.

“There are a broad range of incidents which qualify as domestic all of which are investigated in a professional and timely manner.

“A disagreement between parents and older teenage children that gets out of hand and the police are called is classified as domestic violence.

“Domestic investigations can often be difficult as there are complex family dynamics resulting in victims being unwilling to co-operate.

“Many victims just want the immediate problem to stop and once it has they do not wish the police to progress charges.

“We use everything in our power to safeguard victims of domestic abuse and use partner agencies and third sector organisations to support victims and families.

“More people are being taken to court to be bound over if the victim is reluctant to take matters further.”

One of the first groups to sign up to our joint campaign was the Hebden Bridge Rats Motorcycle Club.

Club member Gez Greenwood said: “Violence doesn’t solve a problem, it only creates a bigger one and ends up breaking people’s spirits. In my 12 years of being a Bridge Rat I have never personally seen any violence and I know it wouldn’t be accepted because we are one big family. We are happy to be supporting this campaign.”

- See next week’s Hebden Bridge Times for your White Ribbon Campaign sign-up sheet.

- You can also read a harrowing account from a woman who suffered domestic abuse and how it affected her life.