County supports Barnstaple Women's Aid project

A crucial service for the support of domestic violence victims has received a �30,000 boost from Devon County Council. The money is helping North Devon Women s Aid to refurbish and extend its main offices in Barnstaple, where it offers help and support f

A crucial service for the support of domestic violence victims has received a �30,000 boost from Devon County Council.The money is helping North Devon Women's Aid to refurbish and extend its main offices in Barnstaple, where it offers help and support for both male and female victims who have suffered abuse in the home.On Friday council Leader Councillor Brian Greenslade visited the centre to see how the work was progressing, meet clients and staff."The council is pleased to support this most valuable service and in so doing improve the help it gives to women and their children who are suffering domestic violence," he said."We were the first county to set up a helpline for male victims of domestic violence, which has now become a national helpline. Our perpetrator programmes are nationally acclaimed and Devon was one of the first areas chosen to pilot the specialist Domestic Violence Courts."Mr Greenslade was joined by fellow county councillors Chris Hayward and Andrea Davis, who is a trustee of the organisation."The services provided here are indispensable at a time when the incidents of domestic violence have escalated by 10 per cent in the first four months of this year alone," she said."The new meeting rooms, peaceful garden area and offices mean we can provide a more suitable environment. The service is confidential and provides a lifeline to our clients."A domestic abuse survivor at the centre, who remains anonymous to protect her identity, said one of the most important things was that it provided a place of safety."When things became serious and I was attacked, I was brought here and worked with a support worker - it's been invaluable, she has kept my head sane otherwise I don't know where I would be," she said."The multi-agency work is amazing, it's fantastic all around support. People think getting involved with agencies is a dangerous thing to do, but it's not, it gives support, security and information. Without it I would not be safe.


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