Funding for domestic abuse support services
Two vital support services are now available for Hertfordshire residents experiencing ‘high-risk’ domestic abuse, thanks to funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls Partnership.
From 1 July, Refuge was re-commissioned to deliver Hertfordshire’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service, while Safer Places is now providing Hertfordshire’s safe accommodation service, in partnership with St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge and Druglink. These services, which are funded to run for the next two years through contracts totalling more than £5m, are helping to make Hertfordshire a safe place for people who are experiencing – or who have experienced - domestic abuse.
Tony Kingsbury, Executive Member for Adult Care Services at Hertfordshire County Council, met with service users and staff from Safer Places and Refuge this week. He said:
“Domestic abuse is such an awful thing to happen to someone. We need to do all we can to support these people to let them get on and lead their lives as best as possible.”
“There are so many ways that people can be affected, and it varies over time. Domestic abuse is not linear, and the experiences of those affected will differ. We want to make sure all victims and survivors of domestic abuse can access the right help for them, at the right time.”
It is estimated that more than 114,000 women and 78,000 men in Hertfordshire will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. In the last year alone, around 42,285 adults aged 16-74 in Hertfordshire will have experienced some form of domestic abuse. The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls Partnership is committed to funding and developing services that help and support all those who are experiencing – or who have experienced - domestic abuse in Hertfordshire.
Refuge’s IDVA service provides support for women and men experiencing abuse within intimate or family relationships and are at high risk of harm or homicide. The service provides free, confidential, non-judgemental specialist support tailored to their individual needs such as housing, safety planning and emotional support.
Safer Places is providing Hertfordshire’s safe accommodation service. They provide accommodation-based, and community outreach support to those who are unable to remain in their own home due to the high risk of further harm. Safer Places has a range of safe accommodation options to ensure all those who are experiencing – or who have experienced - domestic abuse, and their children, have equitable access and choice to services, including spaces for male clients.
The funding for these services is part of a whole system response to those who are experiencing – or who have experienced - domestic abuse, including children, across Hertfordshire. More information about strategic partnership’s approach is included in its new