Cheshire East Council has launched a new ‘whole family’ domestic abuse service.
It is a free, confidential and expert service for families, adults, children and young people who are affected by abuse.
Domestic abuse and sexual violence impacts the lives of many Cheshire East residents, families and communities, incurring substantial human cost. National figures show that one in three women and one in six men are harmed by such abuse. In 2017/18 more than 2,500 referrals were made to specialist domestic abuse services across the borough.
Launched this week at an event in Macclesfield, the Cheshire East domestic abuse service will be delivered through a partnership with the council and My CWA (formerly known as Cheshire without Abuse).
The service includes advice clinics, support groups, recovery programmes, a counselling service, crisis accommodation, support in staying safe in your own home and behaviour-change programmes for adults and children.
Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people at Cheshire East Council, said: “We have a strong history of recognising the human as well as the financial cost of domestic abuse across Cheshire East. This new service builds on the previous three years of work, where all agencies have been working together to ensure those affected get the right help at the right time.
“We want to ensure that no one is turned away from critical support services and we are working hard to provide support at an earlier stage so that fewer people will reach crisis point and need refuge, or other secure accommodation.
“As ever, I’d like to thank all those who have worked singly and together to make children and families affected by domestic abuse safer and stronger in Cheshire East.”
Saskia Ritchie, chief executive of My CWA said: “We are very excited to be launching our new whole family service. Our vision is for a healthy community where adults and children can live free from the fear of domestic abuse.
“We know that, when we focus attention only on the victim and children, we are failing to tackle the root cause of the problem and often just shifting it to another family.
“Engaging with those who harm will be another critical element of our work, which, in no way reduces the need to hold offenders to account but offers a solution for the future.
“The new service will continue to give families, friends, colleagues and employers the information and skills they need to support people when they are concerned about them and promote where they can get specialist help, if it is needed.”
One survivor said: “I felt lost but family friends and CWA have helped me through. Without their support, I would have been lost, alone and frightened about what the future held for me and my children.”
If you are affected by domestic abuse or concerned for someone else, please call 0300 123 5101 at anytime or visit: www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or in an emergency always call 999.