Hampshire County Council in partnership with the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner has introduced an Integrated Domestic Abuse Service for Hampshire (IDASH) to ensure that those affected by domestic abuse can get help to keep them safe and reduce the risks of ongoing abuse.
Launched earlier this year, the service offers a confidential support service to women, men, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Victims of abuse, and those working with them, can now ring a confidential helpline – 0330 0165112 – to get immediate information as well as referral to the most appropriate service for ongoing help.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Health & Public Health, said: “Domestic abuse has far-reaching effects for individuals, families and communities and causes irreparable damage. It can happen to anyone regardless of their background and family circumstances and it is not acceptable. The new service provides information, advice and support for both victims (adults, children and young people), the professionals who support them, as well as advice and guidance for those who have abused or are at risk of abusing.”
She continued: “We want to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place and the 16 Days of Action is an opportunity to challenge the attitudes and behaviours which foster domestic abuse and communicate how Hampshire is acting to support victims.”
One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, often with years of psychological abuse. To date, this year in Hampshire, there have been over 10,000 domestic incidents, according to Hampshire Police data, and of these over half have been recorded as domestic crimes. Because of its complexity, domestic violence cannot be tackled in isolation, so Hampshire County Council has joined forces with other Hampshire agencies, working together under a wider Domestic Abuse Strategy to eliminate domestic abuse.
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, comments: “It is unacceptable that people live in fear of domestic or sexual abuse. In Hampshire, I believe we’ve created an opportunity to seriously address this social problem both through our partnership work on domestic abuse, as well as our recently launched Sexual Crime Strategy, which seeks to further improve services for survivors of sexual violence, regardless of gender, age, or postcode. White Ribbon Day presents a helpful opportunity to speak out against violence against women with partners from statutory and voluntary organisations.”
For more information on how Hampshire County Council and its partners are tackling domestic violence and reducing the risks to victims, visit www.hants.gov.uk/domesticabuse.