A vital lifeline is being provided to victims of domestic violence in South Tyneside - by police and council chiefs joining forces to combat growing concerns over the ‘hidden crime’.
A dedicated directory with information on how to access a raft of services - including emergency housing, protection and counselling - wil offer much-needed support to those who have suffered at the hands of domestic violence and their families.
The South Tyneside Domestic Violence Help Directory, which has been updated on behalf of South Tyneside’s Community Safety Partnership. also serves as an important resource for professionals working with adults and children battling to come to terms with the effects of domestic violence and abuse.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, is determined that victims don’t feel they have to ‘suffer in silence’.
Coun Dixon said: “Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Domestic abuse is totally unacceptable. It can a devastating impact on victims, children who witness violence in their homes, their families and local communities.
“It is a very important issue, but often seen as a hidden crime takes place behind closed doors. We want to reassure people that there is help available to break the cycle and that they no longer have to suffer in silence.
The directory has been updated with the latest information and is a really useful easily accessible resource for people affected by domestic abuse. It provides full details of the range of services working to provide support to victims across the Borough all in one booklet.”
As well as providing up to date information on local services, the directory also contains details of national agencies such as the National Domestic Violence Helpline.
Chief Inspector Dave Willett, of Southern Area Command, said: “Domestic abuse is rarely a one off incident and usually involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour which can be physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional. Victims suffer unnecessarily at the hands of someone they trust and can often feel there is nowhere for them to go for help or support.
“This directory offers practical advice and guidance as well as details of the agencies, including voluntary agencies that can help all in one booklet. Whatever form it takes it simply will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure perpetrators cannot cause any further harm or distress to their victims and that victims have the help and support they need.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, who features tackling domestic and sexual abuse as a key objective of her Police and Crime Plan, added: “There is no place for any domestic abuse or violence in society and I welcome this resource pulled together by South Tyneside Council.
“As friends, family, employers, we all have a role to play if we know someone suffering and it’s important that everyone does their bit to help and so people know where they can turn for support. Help is out there and no-one should suffer in silence.”
The directory is available in local Council buildings, libraries, GP surgeries, hospitals, sports centres and community centres as well as on South Tyneside Council’s website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/domesticviolence It can also be made available in alternative formats if requested.
For further information about the directory call the Domestic Violence Team at South Tyneside Council on (0191) 424 7954, email firstname.lastname@example.org