Continued backing for victims of domestic abuse

Victims of domestic abuse can continue to count on local support as Cherwell District Council prepares to reaffirm its backing for a countywide service.

Published: Wednesday, 28th September 2022

On Monday 3 October the council executive will receive updates on work that is going on across Oxfordshire to meet new legal duties under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. Councillors are also set to agree to continue to support the commissioned support service for domestic abuse victims

Under the Act, councils must provide safe accommodation so that victims and their families have somewhere to go when they escape an abuser. The current domestic abuse support services contract will expire in April, so work is underway in Oxfordshire to prepare to go out to tender for a new contract.

Councillor Eddie Reeves, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a significant priority for us and our partners in the Cherwell Community Safety Partnership as we work to make Cherwell a safer place.

“People can become victims of domestic abuse regardless of their age, income, background or profession. As well as physical violence, domestic abuse also includes coercive control, emotional and financial manipulation.

“We will continue to stand by anyone who suffers from these forms of abuse and I am very happy therefore that Cherwell District Council is set to renew the funding it gives to the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service.”

Cherwell is a member of the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership, which also includes representation from victim-survivors, the NHS, and the voluntary and community sector.

The contract for domestic abuse services is held by Oxfordshire County Council which funds it alongside the district and city councils, and the Police and Crime Commissioner. It represents one element of the support given to those experiencing domestic abuse in the county and is worth £655,000.

Cherwell currently contributes £25,000 every year, an amount which is built into existing budgets.

The intention is that the new service will provide accommodation, refuge, advocacy, and prevention services, among other elements.

Cherwell is also set to recruit a domestic abuse lead officer to support the work with partners across the local system as well as to carry out educational work and support complex housing cases.

People can get free and confidential advice from the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service Helpline on 08007 310055. Anybody in immediate danger should contact emergency services on 999.

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