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£1.7m to transform support for Tameside domestic abuse victims

Press Release: 22/11/2021

 

Domestic Abuse AwarenessOver £1.7m is being invested to transform support for victims of domestic abuse in Tameside.

The funding comes as part of an ambitious five year Domestic Abuse Strategy, launched this week by Tameside Council and Tameside Domestic Abuse Partnership Board and developed in partnership with local victim-survivors of domestic abuse and professionals.

The strategy aims to transform the local response to domestic abuse by:

·         Making domestic abuse everybody’s business

·         Creating safe spaces for disclosures

·         Meeting the needs of victims through local services

·         Helping victim-survivors stay safe at home

·         Better outcomes for children impacted by domestic abuse

·         Identifying problem behaviours early

·         Holding perpetrators accountable.

The £1.7 million funding includes additional resource for Bridges, Tameside’s domestic abuse service, including a pilot of a specialist domestic abuse worker in Tameside Hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit.

There will also be additional training for frontline staff across the borough to help them  identify domestic abuse, support disclosures from victims and respond effectively.

The new investment includes the provision of a three-tiered approach to meet the national Domestic Abuse Act 2021 local authority duty to provide support in safe accommodation for victim-survivors of domestic abuse and their children through:

1.    Better support victim-survivors to stay in their own homes with support and safety measures in place

2.    Improve outcomes for those who approach our homelessness service as victims of domestic abuse

3.    Strengthen and diversify the offer for those who require specialist domestic abuse accommodation.

Local victim-survivors were pivotal in informing the domestic abuse strategy, highlighting the need for this important work and recognising the valuable role that the local domestic abuse service Bridges provides for local residents.

One Victim-survivor said: “It was one of my friends [who helped me identify domestic abuse]. I’d thought things with my partner weren’t right, and I spoke to a friend at work and she said I should speak to Women’s Aid. There was loads of denial at first, I didn’t think I could be that daft to be in that situation, I don’t think of myself as a stupid person.”

Of the victim-survivors interviewed and surveyed for the strategy:

·         90% had experienced emotional abuse

·         72% had experienced jealous and controlling behaviours

·         72% had experienced physical abuse

·         38% had experienced financial control and abuse

·         38% had experienced sexual abuse

As part of the strategy, the council recently relaunched the Greater Manchester Sitting Right With You domestic abuse awareness campaign by taking its iconic yellow sofa to recognisable Tameside landmarks. The aim is to highlight that individuals, children and families across the borough are affected by domestic abuse and that support is available.

But it also aims to support the strategy’s priority of making domestic abuse everyone’s businesses in Tameside, so people can be aware of abusive behaviours and warning signs to help prevent abuse before it happens.  Domestic abuse isn’t just violence – it can also involve controlling and coercive behaviour, such as controlling someone's money or preventing them from seeing family and friends - and anyone of any age or gender can be a victim.

Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: Our domestic abuse strategy sets out a robust plan to tackle domestic abuse – with the aim of getting help to people earlier and reducing the number of families affected by domestic abuse. We can only achieve this everybody in Tameside takes a collective and joined up approach to making it happen.

“Our strategy will also work in conjunction with Greater Manchester’s Gender Based Violence Strategy, which sets out a ten year plan to enhance the safety of women and girls and challenges the attitudes and inequalities that enable abuse, including domestic abuse. There will also be a bespoke plan created to address how to effectively meet the needs of male victims and survivors.”

Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Eleanor Wills, who is responsible for population health, said: “I have been a victim of domestic abuse and have been open about my experience of domestic abuse and the negative impacts it had on my life. It’s important we proactively work in partnership with local communities and organisations to identify warning signs and prevent abuse before it happens as well as ensuring we respond effectively to cases presented to us.

“This funding and strategy, alongside continued insight from victim-survivors, will really help us to support this work and make a positive difference.”

For information on the support available see www.tameside.gov.uk/domesticabuse or you can call Bridges 24 hour helpline on 0800 328 0967. In an emergency, you should always call 999.

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