Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles announced this week funding for a host of domestic abuse projects which will secure services until March 2016.
The Commissioner has earmarked almost £100,000 of Ministry of Justice funding to expand existing projects that are helping survivors of domestic abuse across Derbyshire.
A large proportion of the funding - £34,392 – has been awarded to the Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Service to fund a court-based Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) post in the north of the county for a period of 12 months.
IDVAs focus on high risk victims and support individuals at a point of crisis, helping them to plan safety strategies to protect them and their families. Demand for this particular court-based support is high which is why the Commissioner has agreed to fund the additional post.
Other organisations to benefit under the Commissioner’s funding stream include High Peak Women’s Aid which received £11,862 to continue its Harmony project supporting young women aged between 14 and 24 and Next Step (Against Domestic Abuse) which was awarded £9,754 to expand current provision of medium-risk domestic abuse services in South Derbyshire. The funding, which covers a period of six months, will help to support the costs of on-going counselling and outreach work.
Announcing the funding, Commissioner Charles said: “Domestic violence remains an underreported crime and one of my biggest ambitions is to increase confidence among victims so they feel able to come forward to police. To achieve this, we must improve the support services and safeguarding procedures designed to help vulnerable victims so they have access to help.
“Counselling is vital to the recovery period but we also need to ensure professionals are trained to intervene at the earliest opportunity. This is not just about improving victim satisfaction rates it is about saving lives by acting promptly. The work these organisations are carrying out ensures that more vulnerable people get the advice and practical support they need from the outset.”
Pam Whittle, service manager at High Peak Women’s Aid, added: “This funding is vital and has paid for a senior accommodation worker to work with girls and young women, keeping them safe and building resilience against future harm.
“The Commissioner has really invested a lot in us, supporting the work throughout the organisation, particularly the Harmony project which is a very specialist service for young women and the first of its kind in the country.”
Tackling domestic violence is one of Commissioner Charles’ core priorities and falls within his overall goal to improve the support and protection offered to all victims of crime in Derbyshire.
Today the county is playing host to a national domestic violence conference entitled Is Prevention Better than Cure? The event, which is being organised by national criminal justice network NoOffence!will draw a multiagency audience and is aimed at provoking discussion about how partners can protect victims of domestic violence more effectively by acting earlier.
The Commissioner has committed funding to a range of domestic violence projects including Women’s Work which received £12,500 to continue its work on The Freedom Programme. This will deliver eight 12-week courses followed by one-to-one support and a trauma recovery programme.
Trident Reach received £4,847 to fund its Lemon Grove project aimed at tackling domestic abuse in South Derbyshire and Erewash while The Metropolitan Support Trust received £12,500 towards its Hadhari Nari Women’s Project to fund a volunteer development worker to recruit, train and manage at least eight volunteers and provide support services to women who are isolated in their communities.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair – 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 22nd April 2015