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Funding will benefit domestic abuse victims

24th July 2015

Northumberland victims of domestic abuse will receive an enhanced service following a successful funding bid to the Supporting Victims’ Fund, a fund available locally for the first time this year, to support Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird in her new duty to help victims to cope and recover from their experience of crime.

Hexham-based charity Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) will receive a cash boost of over £90,000 following their application.

The organisation has recently transformed and will focus more closely on giving practical and emotional support to women in Northumberland who have experienced domestic abuse at any time in their lives.

The money will be used to fund two female domestic abuse practitioners so that more female victims can receive the help they need to cope and recover from the experience they have faced.

A third male domestic abuse practitioner will also be employed to assist male victims of domestic abuse with the Supporting Victims Fund cash together with further funds from Northumberland County Council.

The workers will provide specialist, tailored services to victims with initial support to enable them to understand their situation and recognise the abuse they are suffering. Every victim is assessed and a safety plan is developed, implemented and monitored with those that are high risk referred to police.

The new domestic abuse practitioner roles are to provide practical and emotional support to victims with an emphasis on empowerment. This will be in many guises – one to one support, small group support and recovery programmes.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I was delighted to be able to help out NDAS with this funding.

“They have remodelled their services and will now play a significant role in changing the lives of so many domestic abuse victims and this money will let the charity help so many more.

“Tackling domestic abuse is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and a major strand in our regional Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

“This is enabling the strategy to be expanded by giving help to men who find themselves victims of domestic abuse and also need to reach out for help.

“I’m proud of the work being done in Northumbria to tackle domestic abuse and any charity or organisation that shares the same aims as us and who wants to work alongside police to make a difference to victims should be given a helping hand to continue and enhance their excellent services.

“I look forward to following the work being carried out by the new domestic abuse practitioners and hearing how they have helped domestic abuse victims.

“Domestic abuse is unacceptable. I’m passionate about ensuring victims are able to speak out and that perpetrators know police will do everything in their power to secure a conviction.

“With that in mind I will ensure our officers continue to work with partners forcewide to tackle domestic abuse in all its forms.”

NDAS service manager, Georgia Evans, said: “We are only in these women’s lives for a short time. Our job is to empower them to be able to take back control of their lives and move forward in confidence to live life to their full potential.

“All domestic abuse practitioners will work fully in the outreach making it easier to see more women across Northumberland. This will also forge strong partnership working which will enhance the support all victims of domestic abuse deserve.

“We are extremely excited for the future development of our service and hope soon to offer support to children and young people, with plans to create an holistic CYP service across Northumberland.

“Our thanks go to both Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and Northumberland County Council for their grants to enable us to provide this valuable, much needed service of support.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the Victims First service to offer a seamless service of support to victims helping towards closing the gaps of support across Northumberland.”

The Supporting Victims Fund has been set up to strengthen, enhance and improve victims’ services across Northumbria.

The aim of the fund is to maximise the potential of organisations to deliver vital services supporting victims of crime in the Northumbria area, helping them to cope and cover from their experience.

Anyone who has been a victim of crime can also get advice and support from Victims First Northumbria by calling 0800 011 3116 or visiting the website,