Cheshire East Council and its partners have welcomed a grant of £647,000 to support the new Domestic Abuse Act which was signed into law at the end of April this year.
The new act places a duty on all councils to ensure victims and their children can access life-saving support in safe accommodation.
The money will be spent supporting victims and their children into safe accommodation using a ‘Whole Housing Approach’, meaning that services are strengthened to spot the signs of abuse and support families earlier.
It also means that survivors are helped to remain safely in their homes where it is their choice to do so, or to keep their tenancy status if they relocate. The grant will help to reduce the number of people becoming homeless due to domestic abuse.
Ged Rowney, interim director of children’s services at Cheshire East Council said: “Domestic abuse impacts the lives of many of our residents, families and communities. Last year 1,750 referrals were made to our services, an increase of 14 percent on the previous year.
“We know that true change can only be achieved when all the relevant agencies work together, and this money will help victims via the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Partnership to provide support for them and their children in safe accommodation.
“For many victims the fear of homelessness keeps them and their families in dangerous situations and often forces them to return to the person causing harm. We know that leaving home and seeking refuge can be literally lifesaving for many who are fleeing. Equally other options such as additional security in the home and specialist safety advice can help families secure longer term, stable housing and have the support of the community where they live.
“Our approach is rooted in giving families, friends and colleagues the information and skills they need to support people when they are concerned about them, know where they can get specialist help if needed and feel supported to prevent harm.”
If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn’t quite feel right, speak to someone about it. You can get help and advice and access self-support services at: openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 5101. In an emergency, always ring 999.