Domestic abuse victims in Portsmouth are set to benefit from a transformation of local support that will bring services under one roof.
The new look will mean more flexibility and a clearer path for those seeking help.
It will also give more scope for services to work with a victim and an abuser as a couple, rather than as separate individuals – where this is appropriate and safe.
Services were previously split between a Portsmouth City Council team and the charity Stop Domestic Abuse. But from 1 July, Stop Domestic Abuse will operate all the services, with funding from the council and the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
Stop Domestic Abuse will help victims and children, including by supporting them in refuges, and will also work with people who use abusive, unhealthy or controlling behaviour in their relationships and want to change.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, said:
“Reducing domestic abuse is a priority for the city and we’re always looking for ways of making local services work more effectively.
“We hope that this one-stop service will encourage people to come forward and report abuse, so the team can help them at an early stage. And we hope it will also encourage people to recognise when their relationship is unhealthy and make changes, with expert help.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said:
“It takes great courage for victims of abuse to take that first step and ask for help, and it can be difficult to know who to turn to for support. Bringing the council and Stop Domestic Abuse support services together will make it easier for victims to access the help they need.
“Domestic abuse is never ok and I would urge anyone who is experiencing unhealthy behaviours to reach out and get help. If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999.”
Claire Lambon, chief executive at Stop Domestic Abuse, said:
“Stop Domestic Abuse is delighted to be awarded the new Portsmouth City Council contract for all domestic abuse services across the city. At Stop Domestic Abuse, we are committed to empowering and advocating for victims and survivors as well as working with those that use unhealthy and abusive behaviours. Our goal is to end domestic abuse. For me and my team, there is no greater reward than knowing we can play a key role in protecting victims and their children and helping them move on from harm to live a life free of domestic abuse.”
In an emergency, domestic abuse victims should always contact police on 999.
Please contact Stop Domestic Abuse on 023 9206 5494 or firstname.lastname@example.org if:
- if you are a victim of abuse and are not at immediate risk, and want support
- if you are worried about a child who is witnessing domestic abuse
- if you feel your behaviour is abusive to your partner and want help to break the cycle
More information is available on the domestic and sexual abuse webpage.