Faster support for domestic abuse victims

A counselling service in Buckinghamshire is promising to see victims of domestic abuse within 48 hours of them asking for help.

Relate has been given funding from Buckinghamshire County Council, which it's using to fund the sessions.

According to the council in the last two years there's been a 16% increase in people making reports about domestic abuse- but there are still concerns not enough people are coming forward.

The counselling will offer a confidential, listening ear to victims and, as well as provide support, will help determine the most appropriate course of action.

Fiona Paine - who's a manager at Relate in Buckinghamshire - told Heart:

"30% of all the clients we see at Relate have suffered domestic violence. Certainly I had no idea that there was so much of this type of behaviour going on. So I would say this funding is incredibly important."

"It might be mental abuse, it might be financial abuse, and so I think it's trying to appeal to people who may not even think they're being abused, who can come and talk to somebody to see what options they've got."

"We often find that the people who are seeking help from us haven't got the means to come and pay to see a councillor. So that's why I spend an enormous amount of my time looking for funding from all sorts of various sources in order that we can offer our services to anybody who's seeking help."

Bill Chapple - the Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Buckinghamshire County Council - said:

"The development of a scheme like this with our partner agencies is another example of Buckinghamshire County Council giving easy access to good advice and services. Expanding it across the county will make communities safer and help us to deliver services locally."

If you or someone you know needs to contact Relate, the numbers are:

Aylesbury: 01296 427 973
Chesham: 01494 791180
South Bucks: 01628 625 320

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