Humberside Police asked if people would call police if they knew domestic abuse was happening – more than one in 10 said they wouldn't

More than 12 per cent of people asked by a Yorkshire police force said they would not get involved if they knew someone was being abused behind closed doors.

The startling statistic was revealed by Humberside Police following a poll which asked members of the public if they would contact police if they knew someone was being abused by a partner or family member in their own home.

Some 12.5 per cent said they would not get involved.

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The result - described by the force as "concerning" - has prompted a campaign urging more people to call them if they suspect domestic abuse was happening, with a call having the power to "change somebody's life".

More than 12 per cent of people answering a poll say they wouldn't get involved if they knew domestic abuse was happening

Calls to helplines from both victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse soared during lockdown while people were at home and had fewer escape routes available, according to various charities.

Calls to police also rose, but by much smaller margins, suggesting many victims or witnesses sought support rather than executive intervention.

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People in Humberside are now being warned of the small signs which may indicate someone you know is experiencing abuse at home.

More than 12 per cent of people answering a poll say they wouldn't get involved if they knew domestic abuse was happening

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heatley said: “One of the more easy things to spot are physical injuries. Do they have cuts, bruises or other injuries that they can’t properly explain or say are the result of accidents? Have things in the house been damaged or broken?

“Another sign to look out for is if they seem stressed or depressed, particularly if they’re reluctant to talk about what’s bothering them. Maybe they have lost their confidence and don’t seem to have any self-esteem.

“Perhaps they seem nervous, or act differently when their partner is around – or you’re suddenly finding that you’re not seeing them as often as you used to."

Det Chief Insp Heatley said people should look for signs potential abuse victims are being controlled or manipulated, with coercive and controlling behaviour also a criminal offence.

More than 12 per cent of people answering a poll say they wouldn't get involved if they knew domestic abuse was happening

She explained: “It might be that they’re always making excuses for not coming when you invite them to come out, or they never have any money.

“Other signs to watch out for are if someone starts being regularly late for work and taking time off sick.

“Some people turn to drink or drugs – both illegal and prescription drugs – to help them cope. Are you worried someone you know may be taking something?"

Women and men in relationships who suspect their partner may have a history of perpetrating abuse can request a domestic abuse disclosure application under Clare's Law.

Humberside's Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “As the force continues to promote the ‘what do you see’ programme we really want the public to think about what may be right in front of them and recognise the signs of abuse.

“Being alert may enable them to help someone who is suffering domestic abuse and through that change a life for the better by accessing victim support services or bringing their offender to justice.”

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