A £335,000 funding boost will support further work to tackle domestic abuse in Calderdale and help victims and their families.
The Council teamed up with the Police, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and Pennine Housing to submit a bid for funding from the government’s Transformation Challenge Award, designed to support innovation and new approaches to public services. This successful outcome comes just days after marking national White Ribbon Day (25 November), which aims to tackle domestic abuse and encourage men to act as positive role models.
The money will be used to improve local domestic abuse services, including identifying potential issues and supporting people as quickly as possible; working more closely as partner organisations; and developing a perpetrator programme to help reduce re-offending.
The good news arrived just before Calderdale Council’s Cabinet is set to discuss further work that can be carried out to tackle domestic abuse.
Significant steps have already been made, including:
- · Raising awareness of domestic abuse through the Calderdale Domestic Abuse Partnership, which includes the Council, Police, NHS, Pennine Housing and WomenCentre.
- · A Council-funded refuge and personalised support for women and men affected by abuse.
- · A Council-wide staff policy on domestic abuse, and the appointment of White Ribbon Ambassadors.
To build on this, on Monday 15 December Cabinet will consider recommendations made by the Communities Scrutiny Panel, which has looked in detail at the issue in Calderdale. Recommendations include:
- · Providing emergency funding to cover the cost of refuge for people fleeing domestic violence.
- · Working with the Police and health, education and voluntary sectors to learn more about the extent to which people in Calderdale are subjected to honour based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
- · Providing training to Council staff to increase their awareness of domestic abuse and how to report concerns.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Baines, said:
“Domestic abuse has devastating effects on individuals, families and communities. It is a real testament to the innovative and important work being undertaken in Calderdale that we secured this funding from government despite considerable competition from other local authorities. The £335,000 funding boost will help the Council and partners step up our work to tackle domestic abuse.”
The district commander for Calderdale, Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, said:
“I very much welcome this grant, which will help to change how we work with partners to deliver domestic violence services throughout Calderdale. The grant will be used to ensure our services are well coordinated and will put a new focus on how we manage the offenders of this terrible crime.
“We are already changing how we deal with domestic violence by setting up a specialist team in April this year, and this team is going from strength to strength supporting victims and witnesses. Our detection rates have risen significantly recently.
“This crime often happens behind closed doors and I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who is a victim not to suffer silently and to come to us so we can take action.”
Matt Walsh from Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We are delighted that our bid has been successful and look forward to working with our partners to ensure that this resource is put to good use and that it is used to the benefit of people who are subject to domestic abuse to ensure that services are more responsive to their needs and better joined up.”
Janette Pearce, Head of Pennine Housing 2000, said:
“This funding will allow us to build on the work we already do in Calderdale and further improve the services we provide. It will allow us to work more closely with partners, improving reporting and sharing information with each other, and allow us to be more proactive in identifying vulnerable people and potential victims of domestic abuse in the borough.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will meet to discuss the proposals at 6pm on Monday 15 December 2014 at Halifax Town Hall.
The White Ribbon Campaign(external link) is a pledge led by men to stop domestic violence against women.
For details of where to get support, please visit the Domestic violence page on the Council’s website.