More funding for vital domestic abuse support service as demand rises by 12pc

PUBLISHED: 22:13 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 22:13 05 June 2019

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, the charity providing support to those experiencing domestic abuse.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, the charity providing support to those experiencing domestic abuse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

A team which provides intensive one-to-one support to high-risk victims of domestic violence in Norfolk has received a funding boost from the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to help it cope with demand for its support services.

Police and crime commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice and crime commissioner Lorne Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Since being elected PCC in 2016, Lorne Green has been working with Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse Services to deliver an Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) service for Norfolk.

The IDVA service saw a 12pc increase in the number of people it supported between 2016/17 and 2017/18 - from 3,456 to 3,871.

This was part of a 9pc rise in the total number of people supported by Leeway from 9,919 to 10,844.

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Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) play a vital role in the county's response to tackling domestic violence in the county, focusing on those individuals considered to be at the highest risk of harm. Using specialist skills and expertise, they work closely with victims to assess risk and develop safety plans, offer emotional and practical support, and help guide victims through the criminal justice system.

Having meeting the professional case workers who make up the IDVA team, the PCC announced that he will be increasing his funding of the service - for the second year in a row - to take the number of IDVAs from 12 to 14.

Mr Green said: "Domestic abuse is one of the largest single crime types affecting our county, with Norfolk Police taking over 50 domestic abuse-related calls every day. As awareness of domestic violence and, along with it, reporting of offences have increased, the demand for support and safeguarding of survivors has risen significantly."

A Leeway spokesman said the awareness raised after the tragic death of Norwich mother Kerri McAuley, and the subsequent campaign, had not only on raised awareness of domestic abuse, but that there was help available.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway added: "We are delighted that the PCC has announced an increase in funding for our IDVA service, which has seen an increase in referrals in the last year. The service provides vital support to those identified to be at high risk of significant harm, working with partner agencies to reduce the risk and empower service users to start a new life free from abuse. "

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