VICTIMS of domestic violence are being encouraged to ‘speak out’ in a new campaign launched this month.

The message will be broadcast on tv screens within public buildings, doctor’s surgeries and public environments for the next two months.

It comes after South Yorkshire Police noted an increase in domestic crimes and incidents - last year’s figures representing a 30 per cent increase in comparison to the numbers recorded in 2009. However, research indicates that victims suffer, on average, around 35 attacks before seeking help.

Chief Superintendent Andy Brooke, Barnsley Divisional Police Commander and Chair of Barnsley Community Safety Partnership said:  “We saw an increase in the number of offences reported in 2010 in comparison with 2009 and that is something we welcome.

“This doesn’t mean the situation has got worse. In fact, with joint agency working, we are getting better at early intervention in the community and with the introduction of specialist domestic violence courts and specially trained professionals we can now bring perpetrators to justice much quicker.  Domestic violence is traditionally under-reported and this shows that more and more people are finding the courage to speak out.

“Nobody should have to live in fear, and our message to anyone out there who is suffering abuse is that we can, and will, help you.”

There are a number of agencies you can contact for help and advice: • South Yorkshire Police, 0114 2202020: To contact specialist Police Domestic Violence Officers in Barnsley. However, in an emergency, always call 999. • Pathways, 01226 249800: For help support and guidance and access to an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) • Victim Support Barnsley, 01226 243761: For help support and guidance and access to an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) • Victim Support National Helpline, 0845 3030 900: National helpline - restricted hours • Women’s Aid, 0808 2000 247: Free phone 24hr national domestic violence helpline • Pathways, 01226 249800: For men who are concerned about their behaviour and wish to get help and advice • Men’s Advice Line, 0808 801 0327: The Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. This includes all men - in heterosexual or same sex relationships.