Working together to prevent domestic abuse
Victims of domestic abuse in Gloucestershire will continue to be able to access support following a commitment from the county council.
At a meeting today (Wednesday 27th September), the county council’s cabinet was asked to approve continued support for victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. Investment has been committed over the next five to seven years and will see the council work closely with partners to tackle domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse takes many forms. It can include a pattern of emotional, psychological and financial abuse, as well as physical violence. It can affect anyone and has an impact on individuals, families and communities across Gloucestershire.
Nationally, domestic abuse still goes underreported. Police data shows 10,675 domestic abuse incidents were reported in Gloucestershire in 2016/17. However based on Crime Survey England and Wales (CSEW) population figures from March 2014, it is estimated that 6.5 per cent of all people aged 16-59 experience one incident of domestic abuse in a year (about 19,900 victims) in Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire County Council works alongside the police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, district councils and probation in a ‘commissioning group’ to oversee a strategy for these issues across the county. With the current contracts coming to an end in July next year, this is an opportunity to bring in an improved joint approach to tackling domestic abuse.
The council already funds a support service for victims, which includes specialist advisors for victims and the courts, one to one advice, support groups and group work programmes.
There are also education programmes delivered in the county’s schools which help to raise awareness of domestic abuse amongst teenagers. They offer advice on how to lead a happy, healthy and safe life and are well received by teachers and young people alike.
On top of this, and to prevent further crimes, the council part-funds a perpetrator programme with the local NHS clinical commissioning group and police and crime commissioner. This scheme aims to help perpetrators change their abusive behaviour in the long term, reducing the risk of crimes taking place.
As part of this renewed commitment, cabinet has also approved the development of a new framework agreement to be managed by the county council. This will allow all partners to use the same pool of providers for these highly specialist and sensitive services, making sure that those people needing support get it from trusted sources.
As well as the support offered by the council and partners there are a number of other services available funded by both local partners and national sources.
Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care at Gloucestershire County Council said: “In Gloucestershire, we work with partners to support victims of domestic abuse and to change the behaviour and attitudes of perpetrators.
“By making this commitment to continue funding services to tackle domestic abuse we are making it clear that domestic abuse in any form will not be tolerated.
“No-one should suffer in silence. Whether the abuse is physical or emotional, advice and support is available to you.”
For more information, visit: www.glostakeastand.com or contact Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) on 0845 602 9035.