Herefordshire Council launches consultation to gather views and feedback to inform the Domestic Abuse Strategy for Herefordshire 2021-2025
Domestic abuse is one of the most prevalent crimes in England and Wales - it can be physical, emotional, sexual, and/or financial, and can happen to anyone regardless of background, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexuality.
In the period April 2020 – March 2021 there were 1,354 domestic abuse incidents reported in Herefordshire, however it is widely understood that domestic abuse is under-reported locally and nationally.
Herefordshire Council is enhancing and developing additional local domestic abuse services with funding from the government intended to help implementation of Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This has placed new duties on local authorities and their partners to provide support and safe accommodation for people experiencing domestic abuse, including children.
In light of the new legislation, the council recently undertook a local needs assessment to determine the level of need across the county, and has drafted the multi-agency Domestic Abuse Strategy for Herefordshire 2021-2025. The key purpose of the strategy is to ensure local partner organisations work collaboratively to prevent, identify and respond to domestic abuse.
The council is speaking with partner organisations about the draft strategy and is now undertaking a public consultation to ask everyone who has been affected by domestic abuse, or knows someone who has, about their experience of support, services and safe accommodation, and how they could be improved and made easier to access. We are particularly keen to hear from people who feel that it would be difficult for them to access services and support.
To find out more about the draft Domestic Abuse Strategy for Herefordshire and to give your views please see the council website at: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/consultations
The consultation will close on 19 January 2022.
Councillor Pauline Crockett, Cabinet member health and adult wellbeing said: “Domestic abuse can affect anyone and is often hidden, with people not feeling able to get help for a wide range of reasons. That’s why it’s so important that we hear from as many people as possible to make sure we have the right support services in place.
“We are speaking with professionals and support organisations, but it is important that we also hear from individuals who have been directly affected so we can better understand their experience.”
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and want to talk to someone please contact West Mercia Women's Aid Herefordshire helpline on 0800 783 1359 or on-line at www.westmerciawomensaid.org
In an emergency please call 999.