A £335,000 funding boost will support further work to tackle domestic abuse in Calderdale and help victims and their families.
Calderdale 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.
It builds on pioneering work undertaken by White Ribbon, the Mytholmroyd-based national charity and will include the appointment by the council of White Ribbon Ambassadors. The White Ribbon Campaign is a pledge led by men to stop domestic violence against women.
This successful funding outcome came just days after the council marked marking national White Ribbon Day on November 25, 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 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, says the council.
News of the grant, and what it can bring, has been welcomed by Chris Green of the White Ribbon Campaign.
Chris said: “White Ribbon Campaign welcomes the commitment to develop another perpetrator programme to change the behaviour of men who have been violent .
“It is also vital to expand funding to services for victims - increased awareness results in increased disclosure of violence and higher demand for services.
“The average victim only goes to the police after 35 acts of violence - with improvements in publicity victims will come forward earlier and hence a welcome massive increase in disclosure of violence and need for quality services.”
On Monday, December 15, Council Cabinet will consider recommendations made by the Communities Scrutiny Panel, which has looked in detail at the issue in Calderdale.
l Providing emergency funding to cover the cost of refuge for people fleeing domestic violence.
l 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.
l Providing training to council staff to increase their awareness of domestic abuse and how to report concerns.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Coun 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 co-ordinated and will put a new focus on how we manage the offenders of this terrible crime.”
You can find out more about White Ribbon’s work by logging on to http://www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/