£325k given to Suffolk domestic abuse services after surge in crimes

Tim Passmore, Conservative Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said people in the county had stuck to the...

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has today announced he will give £325k in funding to domestic abuse services.  - Credit: Archant

Services which offer support to victims of domestic abuse have been granted £325,467 by Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.

As people were forced indoors during the coronavirus crisis in 2020, Suffolk police received 9,667 reports of domestic abuse - a 20% increase on the long-term average.

Volumes began rising in line with the relaxation of social restrictions, peaking in August, as more victims gained confidence to report abuse endured while locked down at home.

The Suffolk Independent Domestic Violence Advisor service also received 29% more high risk referrals in 2020 than in 2019.

Mr Passmore said the money, being given to voluntary and community services, "will ensure that all victims of domestic abuse in Suffolk are able to access services to help them cope and recover from the crime".

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Beneficiaries include the Bury St Edmunds Women's Aid Centre. It is set to receive £72,500 to go towards its outreach centre, which provides group and individual therapy work as well as counselling for victims.

It usually supports more than 200 victims of domestic abuse each year. 

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Ipswich-based PHOEBE, which supports women and children from black, Asian, ethnic minority and migrant communities, will get £40,000.

It helps victims of domestic abuse find safe temporary accommodation and complete visa applications. It also facilitates support groups and provides counselling, casework and legal advice. 

Mr Passmore said in a report: "These services support women, men, and their families and include providers who specialise in supporting minority communities. 

"Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic partners in Suffolk, have worked to ensure that victims of domestic abuse were able to report crimes and access the support they needed safely.

"There are a number of voluntary and community services providing this support in Suffolk and these organisations adapted their methods during the pandemic to ensure support was available to victims, whether they were reporting abuse for the first time or seeking ongoing support.

"These organisations provide support to victims of domestic abuse in the community, whether or not they have reported to the police."

Funding for the grants for 2021/22 will come from the Ministry of Justice, as well as from the PCC's commissioning budget.

The Home Office estimates the cost for each victim of domestic abuse is £34,000.

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