More than 2,000 domestic abuse cases are recorded each year in York, according to a report.

York’s director of public health Sharon Stoltz presented a report on domestic abuse to the City of York Council’s executive member for health Cllr Jo Coles on Wednesday, November 15.

It said that in the 2022 to 2023 financial year, there were 2,069 domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by North Yorkshire Police that had occurred in York.

The greatest number of domestic abuse-related crimes were reported in Guildhall (263), followed by Westfield (249), Micklegate (200) and Heworth (190) during the same period.

It added that of the 2,069 reported crimes, 72 per cent of victims were female, typically aged between 20-39 years-old, whilst 73 per cent of suspects were male of the same age range.

Sharon Stoltz, director of public health, said: “Domestic abuse is a crime often hidden from view since it takes place in people’s homes, usually behind closed doors.

“It often goes unreported as victims, including children who may witness the violence, may not report the abuse for many different reasons including the fear of reprisals from the perpetrator.

“Domestic abuse has a profound and lasting impact on victims and survivors and wider society.

“The impacts on children in a home where domestic abuse is happening are especially severe with impacts on their mental and physical health, safety and educational attainment.

“Domestic abuse also makes a significant contribution to family breakdown and is one of the main causes of family homelessness.

“It increases the risk of poverty for victims and their children.”


The number of reported domestic abuse cases in the two earlier financial years was also more than 2,000.

The report considered developing a new domestic abuse strategy which is informed by the work of the Local Partnership Board across York and North Yorkshire.

Ms Stoltz set out a series of recommendations, including increasing awareness of domestic abuse and introducing targeted learning to young people about abusive behaviours.

York Press: Sharon StoltzSharon Stoltz (Image: Staff)

She also recommended focusing on challenging and addressing perpetrator behaviour, holding individuals to account and providing support that facilitates the development of healthy relationship behaviours.

Ms Stoltz added that bodies in York must also recognise the impact of perpetrator behaviours on families as a whole, adding it was vital to understand more about perpetrators in order to understand how to prevent abuse and change behaviour.

The final recommendation was to capture the voice of domestic abuse victims to help inform service provision and local partnership working, which Ms Stoltz said will be developed throughout 2024.

Cllr Coles said the creation of the York and North Yorkshire combined authority will be able to help the city address the issue.

York Press: Cllr Jo ColesCllr Jo Coles

The combined authority will become a legal entity next year and the two regions will elect a mayor in May.

“I do sincerely hope that devolution does provide us with an opportunity to do more of that preventative work so that the victims and the impact of domestic abuse can be reduced and we can have a healthier, happier city with healthier, happier residents in it,” Cllr Coles said.

Rosemary Cook, CEO of the women’s charity Kyra Women’s Project, said: “This report highlights a very important need that affects many women in York.

“At Kyra Women’s Project, we know the devastating long-term impact of domestic abuse on women.

“They suffer emotional trauma, loss of self-esteem and confidence, and often loss of a home, income, job, friends and family.

“We support women after the domestic abuse crisis when targeted interventions come to an end.

“The long-term impacts require a lot of work to undo, whether it is the emotional side of things where they’re rebuilding self-esteem, starting to make sense of what happened to them through things like counselling and the freedom programme, or learning about healthier relationships and gaining the confidence to trust people again.

“We also help with practical things like accessing support with finances to get these under control, especially after someone has accrued debt in their name.

“Our service is open to all women who need help to make positive changes in their lives, and our open-ended support for women complements the Independent Domestic Abuse Service’s essential support during the crisis stage.”