Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) will now be based in Southport and Ormskirk, Preston and Morecambe Bay hospitals, meaning that every hospital trust in Lancashire now has at least one specialist support worker on site. These professionals help victims of domestic abuse to access the support they need to rebuild their lives, navigate the criminal justice process and move forward from what they have experienced.
Funding will also be used to roll out a specialist domestic abuse training, support and referral programme for GP practices across Lancashire helping to identify victims and providing support at the earliest opportunity.
Following the announcement, the Commissioner said: “Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is as a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan for Lancashire and I have invested in the creation of a dedicated rape and serious sexual offences team within the Constabulary to tackle this type of crime, to target offenders and to ensure victims get the justice they deserve.
“Ensuring that victims have access to specialist, face to face support is equally important and this funding means that we can now further enhance services across the county which is great news.
“Placing support in health setting and ensuring that hospitals and GP practices are aware of the support available has proven hugely successful. Health settings are a place of safety meaning that victims may feel more confident to talk about what has happened to them. The support that is already in place has seen more victims referred into support services at the earliest opportunity so it’s fantastic to be able to build on this success and to make sure support of this kind is rolled out across Lancashire.
“The money will also see additional support workers joining services across the county which will ensure that anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence can access support that’s right for them, whenever and wherever they need it.”
Divisional Director of Nursing for Community and Intermediate Care at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Jane Pemberton, said: “The work being carried out by our Independent Domestic Violence Advocate to support vulnerable men and women experiencing domestic abuse is so important and in some cases life-changing.
“In the last three months alone, they have supported over 130 people with safety planning, offering advice and helping access much needed support.
“This funding will be used to recruit an additional Advocate, helping us expand our service and provide safe, personal and effective care to even more people who are victims and survivors of domestic abuse.”
Other organisations set to benefit from this funding include PACE, Empowerment, Lancashire Victim Services, Paladin, The Emily Davison Centre, HARV, Release Counselling, Preston Domestic Violence Services, Flowhesion, Trust House, Humraaz, Positive Action in the Community, The Birchall Trust and Fylde Coast Women’s Aid.
A full breakdown of funding across all areas of Lancashire is available on the Commissioner’s website.