Posted on Monday 27th February

Hundreds of victims suffering from domestic abuse will be provided with greater support after local authorities successfully secured almost half a million pounds.

Cheshire Police along with Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council and Warrington Borough Council successfully secured £481,000 in order to help provide support to victims with the most complex of needs.

Over the next two years money – from the Department for Communities and Local Government – will be used to recruit and train a team of specialist workers who can assess more complex cases and effectively support those who are experiencing multiple and challenging barriers to living safe lives. This will provide local suitable accommodation to victims so they no longer have to live in fear in their own home.

It will also help to create a dedicated coordination function across the sub-region to provide direct access to a range of public sector data systems and professionals to offer additional advice and support on complex cases. This includes local services such as social care, NHS, drug and alcohol, housing, mental health services, missing from home workers and CSE.

The function will also be used to build upon and expand a sub-regional network of existing specialist workers including Polish speaking Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, Polish helpline and BME for specific faith based work and men’s workers.

The funding is part of the Government’s commitment to protect those suffering from domestic abuse and ensure no victim is turned away from the support they need. The funding will help local services support victims with somewhere safe to live and rebuild their lives.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Chair of the Domestic Abuse Strategic Board, said: “Securing this funding is fantastic news and will go a long way in helping us support those who suffer greatly at the hands of their abusers.

“Domestic abuse has a huge impact on the lives of victims as well as their families and we work hard to ensure they are protected and kept safe from harm to enable them to move forward and begin a better life.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, Cllr Dave Cargill said: “I am delighted to learn that Halton, with its partners across Cheshire, have been successful in securing much needed funds from the DCLG.

“This funding will be used in Halton to enhance local domestic abuse service provision, meaning we will be able to assist more people and reach out to victims with multiple needs.”

Cllr Terry O'Neil, leader of Warrington Borough Council and chair of the Cheshire sub-regional leaders board, said: “This is excellent news for Warrington and the wider Cheshire region and shows that together we are determined to support victims of domestic abuse in our area.

“Domestic abuse too often remains hidden and can be devastating for victims and their families. This funding will ensure we are able to provide the right support for people at a time when they need it most.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: "Ensuring vulnerable adults feel safe and are protected is a priority for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"This funding will help the council and its partners to further improve support to domestic abuse survivors by providing additional safe housing across the region.

"This will help individuals and their families to live as independently as possible in a safe and discreet environment that supports their recovery."

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health said: “Through our ongoing commitment to working more collaboratively with neighbouring local authorities and other strategic partners, we are delighted to have secured this additional funding which will see more victims of domestic abuse across Cheshire being given the essential support they so desperately need.

“Tackling domestic abuse and violence in Cheshire East remains a top priority and there is simply no place for abuse or violence against women and girls in our local communities. As a council, we are firmly committed to putting our residents first and helping the victims of domestic abuse feel safe and have the opportunity to turn their lives around from this devastating crime.”

Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “It is welcoming to see this vital service has been given the funding. One of the priorities in my police and crime plan is to focus on services which support victims of crimes and protecting the vulnerable. This latest initiative is another step in the right direction in being there for victims when they need it most and when they are at their most vulnerable.”