Specialist roles provided by PCC help improve support for victims of domestic abuse
Victims of domestic violence across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are receiving enhanced support to reduce their risk of harm thanks to improvements in the services they receive.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews secured £438k from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to develop the number of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) operating across the force area.
IDVAs work closely with domestic abuse victims who are at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to protect their safety and the safety of their children.
Serving as a victim's primary contact, IDVAs normally work with victims from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk they face and discuss the range of options available. They also develop safety plans designed to address their immediate and long-term safety.
Nationally, the government ringfenced funding in 2021/22 for 700 additional IDVAs and a further 200 in 2022/23. PCCs are accountable for the delivery of these roles in their communities and are required to commission partners to run these services on their behalf.
In Leicestershire, IDVAs work across a variety of agencies and settings such as hospitals including Accident and Emergency and maternity wards and specialist sexual violence units, with delivery partners Freeva, Living without Abuse and New Dawn, New Day.
Victims of domestic abuse can call the helpline on 0808 802 0028 who will guide them to the right support. The helpline is open 8am - 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am - 4pm on Weekends and Bank Holidays and is free from all mobiles, landlines and payphones. The number is not itemised on telephone bills.
Mr Matthews said: "IDVAs are highly valuable members of the team helping victims of domestic abuse navigate the criminal justice system and the wealth of support services available during what is already a highly traumatic and distressing time. They also help victims to make informed choices about their future safety and work closely with other agencies and partners to ensure their needs are fully met.
"This service forms part of my ongoing commitment to provide excellent support services to victims of crime. I am determined to do everything possible to safeguard victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, delivering the swift and effective justice they deserve. Research shows that victims of domestic abuse who receive help from services such as IDVAs are almost 49 per cent less likely to withdraw from the police investigation process. By increasing trust and confidence among victims, future survivors will be more inclined to report their experiences to the police. This means a greater number of perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions."