Focus on help for domestic abuse victims

Newly elected Bedfordshire PCC Kathryn Holloway

Newly elected Bedfordshire PCC Kathryn Holloway

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Victims of domestic abuse in Bedfordshire will benefit from a domestic violence and abuse service following the award of a £100k contract.

Domestic abuse figures show that:

>One in four women is abused during her lifetime;

>One in nine is severely physically abused each year;

>Two are killed each week

>Victims are subjected to an average of 36 abusive incidents before seeking help

Beds PCC Kathryn Holloway Holloway said she was delighted to commission specialist, community-based help for those assessed as ‘high risk’.

The PCC, with Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire local authorities, has commissioned Victim Support to provide an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service for Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. Case workers will assess the individual needs of each victim to provide tailor-made solutions, according to need, helping those who have been abused to move on with their lives most effectively.

High or very high risk victims are referred through a multi-agency assessment process. In the 12 months ending 31 March 2016 there were 3,263 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Bedfordshire Police.

“Tackling domestic abuse is not purely a police issue,” said Ms Holloway. “Ending the misery endured by so many people is an absolute priority for Bedfordshire Police and our partners. The role community-based services play in widening access to help and specialist support is vital and this new service will facilitate delivery of an enhanced service.

“We know that victims are often in the grip of a multitude of social problems including debt issues, eviction issues, housing crises and health problems. This is why we need to find holistic solutions to help resolve all those issues which can often compound the problem or increase the risk of repeat victimisation.”