Doing more for those in danger of domestic abuse

Published on: Wednesday, 29th April 2020

During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis Derbyshire County Council is offering more support for victims of domestic abuse. 

Working with partners across the county a project has been launched that focuses on protecting those residents who are fearful of being harmed again in their own home by someone previously convicted or accused of domestic abuse. 

There is the risk that the perpetrator may return to the victim’s house and this project works to make sure that they can’t get access.  Funding is provided to change all the locks necessary at the property and will cover the cost of the locks and their installation making the service free of charge to the victim. People are referred for this work through the domestic abuse agencies.  The project excludes Derby City who run their own schemes.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “We don’t want our residents living in fear that they may be a repeat victim of domestic abuse. Simple measures like these can make a huge difference to their safety and I am glad to see us working in partnership to protect the vulnerable.”

The county council is also supporting a campaign run by the charity Crimestoppers which is using social media messaging and radio adverts to appeal for information from people who are aware of domestic abuse happening to friends, family, work colleagues or neighbours.

Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial.  It affects one in four women and one in six men during their lifetime.  It's estimated that a typical victim endures up to 35 assaults before speaking up, and in some cases results in death.

Often neighbours, family and friends may be suspicious, but are reluctant to get involved because of embarrassment, split loyalties or fear of revenge.  The Crimestoppers campaign encourages people to report their concerns knowing that they can remain completely anonymous.

Councillor Carol Hart said: "We're joining forces with the Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Crimestoppers to address the potential rise in domestic abuse during the lockdown.  This is an abhorrent crime and we need Derbyshire residents to be our eyes and ears on the ground and report anything suspicious. The authorities can then take the correct action. With all of us working together in this way we can protect those most vulnerable to harm."

Crimestoppers Contact Centre is open 24 hours, seven days a week on Freephone 0800 555 111 or visit  crimestoppers-uk.org to fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form.

Alternatively call Derbyshire’s free confidential domestic abuse support line on 08000 198 668 or visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/staysafe for more information.

In an emergency always ring 999 if you ring from a mobile but cannot respond to the operator, stay on the call, enter 55 when told to, you will be connected to the police, listen and follow their instructions. 

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