Warwickshire County Council is pleased to announce that it is to receive almost a hundred thousand pounds to continue supporting the victims of domestic abuse in the county.
The funding, made available by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will enable Warwickshire County Council to build on the wide range of effective support channels for people who have suffered domestic abuse.
The key aims of this DCLG funding bid were to:
- Sustain specialist domestic violence and abuse refuge provision in northern Warwickshire;
- Improve access to refuge accommodation within northern Warwickshire for disabled women or women with disabled children;
- Improve living standards within the refuge accommodation in northern Warwickshire to increase client satisfaction;
- Improve outcomes for women accessing the refuge in this area; and to
- Support victims in rural communities, increasing access to a range of services such as mental health support, sexual health and substance misuse.
Currently, in Warwickshire, there are a range of different services for people who have become a victim of domestic violence and abuse. The services commissioned by Warwickshire County Council include:
1. The Domestic Abuse Support Service
Provided by Stonham, this service offers advice, information and support for anyone concerned about domestic abuse via a specialist helpline, website and drop in sessions.
Specific services include:
- Independent Domestic Violence Advisors to support high risk victim survivors and those with a case going through the courts and criminal justice system
- Specialist BME, LGBT,and Men’s workers
- Outreach support and drop in services in the community for victim-survivors living with or affected by domestic abuse
- Freedom programme – a 12 week recovery programme for women focussing on the dynamics of domestic abuse
- Sanctuary Scheme – securing the property of those suffering domestic abuse, supporting them to remain in their own homes
- Domestic Abuse Helpline
2. Domestic Abuse Refuge Service
Refuges provide safe emergency housing and support to women and their children escaping domestic violence and abuse. There are refuge locations spread across the county and victim-survivors are also supported to move outside of Warwickshire to protect their safety if required.
From April 2017, all Warwickshire County Council’s commissioned Domestic Abuse services will be provided on the County Council’s behalf by the specialist charity, Refuge, who were successful in their tender bid in late 2016.
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said:
“Refuge is delighted to have secured Government funding to expand its domestic violence services in in Warwickshire, working in partnership with Warwickshire County Council. This follows the announcement earlier this year that Refuge will provide domestic violence services across the whole of the county, so that every victim – regardless of their gender, sexuality or race – will be able to access the same, high quality support through one organisation. From April, Refuge will be running safe accommodation, community based support, sanctuary schemes and an independent advocacy services to support victims of domestic violence in accessing justice. Thanks to the new funding, the service will now include specialist provision for domestic violence victims with mental health needs, who might otherwise struggle to access the support they deserve. Domestic violence is a crime that claims the lives of two women every week in England and Wales alone; Refuge looks forward to ensuring women and children in Warwickshire are protected and empowered to begin new lives, free from violence and fear.”
Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“Every year in Warwickshire there are over 9,000 adult victims of domestic violence and abuse. Support and accommodation for victims is vital and a key objective within our strategy to end violence and protect people from harm.
“We are very pleased to have been awarded these monies by DCLG to enable us to best support those people affected by domestic violence and abuse in the county.”
Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee added:
“It is fantastic news that Warwickshire has been successful in its bid for central government money to improve the quality of refuge accommodation in northern Warwickshire, ensuring the service is more accessible to those with disabilities.”
“I am also delighted that we will be able to resource specialist mental health support for those seeking refuge accommodation. Many victims have severe and on-going mental health conditions as a direct result of the abuse they have endured. Some women seeking refuge may also have existing mental health issues, which as a result of the nature of domestic violence and abuse they have been subjected to leaves them very wary of engaging with mental health services. Having a specialist worker within the service to provide support from the beginning will go a long way in supporting victims to cope and recover after the abuse.”
If you or anyone you know has been affected by domestic violence or abuse, please call Warwickshire’s domestic abuse helpline. Talking to someone can help. The Freephone helpline number: 0800 408 1552 is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 9.00 pm and Saturday 8.00 am – 4.00 pm.
In an emergency, always call 999.
For more information about domestic abuse services in Warwickshire, visit: Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse – www.talk2someone.org.uk