FEARS that cases of domestic abuse are being under-reported in an area of Barnsley are set to be tackled thanks to a support service’s new charter.

The campaign – spearheaded by Barnsley-based Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) – was launched after data showed that the charity receives far fewer referrals for support from Penistone residents than other local areas.

Information from IDAS shows only 53 referrals were received from Penistone in 2023, significantly lower than other comparable areas.

The ‘Yorkshire Businesses Against Domestic Abuse Charter’ has been circulated in the town, which aims to get firms to take a stand by placing posters in workplaces for employees and visitors who may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse survivor Claire Throssell MBE has urged people to speak up having visited local businesses to sign them up alongside Penistone and Stocksbridge’s Labour candidate Marie Tidball.

Her two children, Jack and Paul, nine and 12 respectively, died in a house fire started by her estranged husband in Penistone.

She said: “It was fantastic to have spoken to over 50 businesses in Penistone and I’m pleased so many of them have signed up to become champions for this important cause.

“It’s wonderful to have Marie onboard – she understands the impacts of domestic abuse and that it remains hidden in the community, along with the need to speak up about it and work hard to tackle it.”

Marie joined a walkabout in Penistone with Claire and the IDAS team, talking to local businesses about what can be done to increase reporting.

She added: “I was delighted to support IDAS and work with Claire to sign up local businesses in Penistone to share information and resources so that they can raise awareness about the importance of reporting domestic violence and the support that is available.

“Thank yous must go to all the businesses who’ve supported the campaign and put up posters.

“I’d encourage others to get involved – get in touch if you’d like to take part.

“Protecting people from domestic violence is very important to me and will be a key priority of mine if I’m elected as MP.”

IDAS supports over 2,000 people each year across the Barnsley area and chief executive Sarah Hill urged more businesses to sign up.

“We all have a part to play in our communities to end domestic abuse.

“By signing this charter and committing to the actions within it, businesses will undoubtedly help many people experiencing domestic abuse.”