A Devon and Cornwall PCSO hopes his story of domestic abuse survival will encourage people to seek help.
Success In Battle Against Domestic Violence
The battle against domestic abuse in Devon is far from won, that's according to Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service (DDASS).
Devon's campaign against domestic violence and abuse has made significant progress over the past year.
Figures released by the service show that high and medium-risk referrals rose by 9.5% from 2,468 in 2014/15 to 2,729 in 2015/16.
Over the two years, support has also been provided for 542 children who have witnessed domestic violence.
Feedback from medium and high risk service users shows a 99% reduction in physical abuse on exiting from support.
Some 96% said they felt safer, while 97% said they had a better quality of life.
As part of the recent changes, DDASS has introduced a new safeguarding team, which will work closely with other children's services to ensure that young people who have suffered as a result of domestic abuse received the right support.
Benchmarked against other similar organisations nationally, the service contracted to Devon County Council consistently performs better than the national average (source SafeLives Insights) and has made further advances on what were already excellent results in the previous year.
The Devon team has enjoyed particular success in getting its domestic violence message out to hard to reach groups such as black and minority ethnic groups and lesbian, gay and bisexual groups.
Other highlights from its newly released statistics include:
- An increasing number of older people using its services with a 4% rise in medium and high-risk cases
- Increased numbers of individuals from black and minority ethnic groups and lesbian, gay and bisexual groups accessing the services (the latter has doubled over the year)
- The number of male victims of domestic violence and abuse coming forward has remained steady.
The service's telephone helpline has a team of three working 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Helpline workers handle self-referrals, process agency referrals and give advice and guidance for anyone who does not want, or does not qualify for, ongoing support.
The programme addresses issues of physical, sexual and emotional respect; raises awareness of the impact of domestic abuse - on children; and provides guidance on rebuilding trust.
Anyone being subjected to domestic abuse can call the Splitz Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service on 0345 155 1074
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