To those who would never dream of physically or mentally assaulting their spouse or partner, the very notion of domestic violence is something ‘which happens to other people’.
Despite years of campaigning to try to persuade women, and it is usually but not exclusively women, to reach out for help, domestic violence is still a hidden problem.
Generally, women do not disclose they are being abused if they are not asked.
So we need to get better at asking people directly if they need help.
And that’s partly the aim of our story today highlighting the call to make Portsmouth a flagship city for raising the awareness of domestic violence.
Of course, it is not a title any city would want, but the need, unfortunately, is there.
Just look at the shocking figures for Portsmouth.
The city’s domestic abuse service has seen a 55 per cent increase in referrals since 2012/13 with 1,347 in 2014/15.
What this new initiative must achieve is for all agencies to take the issue more seriously once a person has had the guts to bring it to their attention.
Figures from domestic abuse charity SafeLives revealed earlier this year that victims are abused for almost three years before they get the help they need.
And almost a quarter of ‘high-risk’ victims have been to A&E with injuries sustained during violent abuse. Some went as many as 15 times before the problem was addressed.
Time and again no-one spots domestic abuse even when victims and their children come into contact with many different public agencies. It’s not acceptable that victims should have to try to get help repeatedly.
It leaves victims living in fear and danger and risks lifelong harm to their children.
Even when the growing number of women do ask for help, the capacity of refuges, such as the one at Havant, remains the same.
What this admirable campaign really needs to be successful is a meaningful cash injection. It will be interesting to see if it gets one.