Cumbria Crack

Council supports 112 men, women and children to leave abusive homes

Mike Starkie

COPELAND Council has supported 112 men, women and children to leave abusive homes through the current pandemic.

Fifty-three women, three men and 56 children have been supported by the Council’s Prevention and Crisis Support Officer from April to September.

The council saw a 30 per cent increase in referrals to its domestic abuse support service during the lockdown period (April to June), in comparison to the three months before the pandemic.

The number of domestic abuse-related incidents in Whitehaven increased by 45 per cent in relation to the same time period last year (June to July).

The council introduced a specialist role to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation in 2018.

So far, during the pandemic, the council’s Housing team has provided emergency accommodation for eight of these households, and is urging more people to come forward.

The council is aiming to raise more awareness of the issue to mark International Domestic Abuse Awareness month this October.

The Prevention and Crisis Support Officer works with those who have suffered domestic abuse or sexual exploitation, linking in with the council’s Housing team to provide emergency accommodation if necessary. Some of these properties have been expertly designed specifically for people with children.

One service user said: “I have never had the pleasure of receiving such amazing, life-changing support.

“Your officers have not just helped our housing situation for the better, but they have had a huge hand in making our new life the happiest it’s ever been.”

The council can also provide extra security measures such as door bars to those who want to add extra safety measures to their properties.

Another service user said: “Mine and my children’s housing situation has improved dramatically through your incredible kind support.

“We have been provided with a fire safety letterbox as this was one of the threats we faced.

“The officer offered continuous support and assistance. She arranged for measures to be put in place so that my family and I feel much safer in our own home. I think the service is fantastic.”

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “For those suffering from domestic abuse, the time to put an end to it is now.

“The added pressures of the current crisis are unfortunately only likely to exacerbate this abuse further.

“We want you to know that we can help, and encourage you not to be afraid to come forward.

“Everyone deserves to live safely and happily, and this includes you too. So please, let us help you.”

To contact the council’s Prevention and Crisis Support Officer, email [email protected] or call 01946 598300.

The council advises that anyone who believes they are in immediate danger of abuse or exploitation should call 999 immediately. Those who are affected by these issues but have somewhere safe to stay should call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or email [email protected].

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More