VICTIMS of domestic abuse in Warwickshire will find it easier to get help in the new year.
Refuge – one of the largest providers of support services for victims nationally – will take over two vital services in the county from April.
They include the running of the Warwickshire helpline, offering specialist one-to-one and outreach support, together with refuge accommodation – the latter of which Refuge already provides.
Coun John Horner, Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman said: “Domestic violence and abuse affects over 9,000 males and females in Warwickshire.
“We are pleased that from April those affected by domestic violence and abuse in the county will have an enhanced service offer through a combined service delivered by Refuge.
“A single point of contact will bring huge advantages, providing victims with a clear route to getting the advice and help they need.”
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said the charity was ready to provide further help and support to victims.
She added: “Refuge will be the single point of contact for all domestic violence victims – and professionals in need of information – across the county.
“Anyone experiencing domestic abuse in Warwickshire – regardless of their race, gender or sexuality – can now access specialist support from Refuge’s experts. Refuge looks forward to working in partnership with Warwickshire County Council – together we will save lives.”
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe was equally pleased.
He said: “My Police and Crime Plan has key objectives of putting victims and survivors first and protecting people from harm, so ensuring that services offering help, support and protection for victims and survivors of domestic violence and domestic abuse are in place across the county is absolutely vital.
“My office has worked closely with Warwickshire County Council to co-commission these services and the award to Refuge marks another exciting step forward in providing a safer, more secure Warwickshire.
“Refuge is an organisation with a vast wealth of experience in working with victims and survivors and has achieved a high reputation nationally, so I am delighted we will be able to work with them on a wider basis here in Warwickshire.”
Until April 1, those affected by domestic violence and abuse should continue to seek help and support from Stonham by calling 0800 408 1552 and Refuge on 01788 571589 (out of hours 07584 233473).
Visit www.talk2someone.org.uk for more information about Warwickshire’s domestic violence and abuse service provision.