Launch event to showcase new integrated domestic abuse service for Swindon

SWINDON WOMEN’S AID

PRESS RELEASE - 21 November 2012

Launch event to showcase new integrated domestic abuse service for Swindon

Swindon Women’s Aid will today formally launch its new integrated Domestic Abuse service to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Swindon.

The event organised by Swindon Women’s Aid will showcase its new services for victims and survivors of domestic abuse living in the Swindon area.  The aim of the event is to promote and further improve partnership working with agencies to tackle domestic abuse and provide victims and their children with appropriate support.

The event will include senior representatives from a variety of agencies including Swindon Borough Council, the Police, Probation Services, Housing services, NHS Swindon, Public Health and Children’s Services. The newly elected Police Crime Commissioner Angus McPherson and local Councillors from across Swindon will also attend.

Olwen Kelly, Director of Swindon Women’s Aid said: “Domestic Violence contributes 25% of all violent crime in our communities. Apart from the physical violence; victims can also experience sexual violence, financial and emotional abuse. Only 40% of domestic violence is ever reported. Victims live in fear of their abuser and can become isolated from family and friends. We want to reach out to victims and provide them with the help and support. By working in partnership with other organisations we want to foster a zero tolerance towards this hidden crime and increase community confidence in reporting it”.

The new integrated service has been funded by Swindon Borough Councils Supporting People fund, a three year grant from the Children In Need fund and Swindon Women’s Aid. The service will include a community outreach service for victims and children living in local communities, a specialist advocacy service to protect and support high risk victims through the criminal justice system and a dedicated Children’s service to support children and young people who have directly experienced or witnessed domestic violence. The new service also includes a newly purpose built emergency refuge that can offer temporary accommodation to 22 families fleeing domestic violence and abuse.

One in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer an incident of domestic violence in their lifetime; and research indicates a victim will experience 35 incidents of domestic violence before they seek help. The impact on children living in violent homes can be far reaching and it is estimated that 90% of children will be in the same room and witness the violence or be in a nearby room and hear it.

In the past 2 years Swindon Women’s Aid has provided support to over 3000 victims of domestic violence and abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse you can call Swindon Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline on 01793 610610.       

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Notes to editor: For further information and to arrange photo opportunity at the event please call  Olwen Kelly, Director of Swindon Women’s Aid T 07946 211692