Ashfield District Council has signalled its commitment to tackling domestic violence in the district by appointing a permanent domestic violence and vulnerability prevention officer.
The decision to appoint a permanent officer was approved at a meeting of the council’s cabinet, where the authority also voted to continue to provide up to six properties as refuge accommodation for those fleeing an abusive relationship.
A spokesman said reducing domestic violence was a key priority for the council.
He added: “Domestic violence is a sensitive issue which can be extremely difficult for victims and some victims may choose to continue with the relationship they are in. Some victims may not even report it happening.
“The Council’s domestic violence and vulnerability officer seeks to ensure victims are provided with information to make informed choices, identifies risk and ensures relevant agencies are aware when suitable.
“In high risk cases an independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA) is appointed by the specialist service provider to support the victim until they feel they no longer need the support.;
“We want residents to be aware that there are lots of options available and hope that victims make contact so that they can be given the support they need including working with agencies such as Womens’ Aid Integrated Services on safety plans, housing advice and general wellbeing.
“The Council also recognises that persons with disabilities may be vulnerable to domestic violence as well as children. Domestic violence can take many forms including coercion, financial abuse, and mental abuse as well as physical abuse.
“If you want to talk to someone about any issues affecting you or someone you know, please contact the council’s domestic violence and vulnerability officer directly on (016623) 457402.”
Ashfield already has a temporary prevention officer funded by the Government until the end of December.
The officer gives support to victims and also provides a single point of contact for domestic homicide reviews. There are currently two of these in the district. Since January this year 29 women have been supported by the officer.