NEARLY 1,500 people from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have sought help from a new domestic abuse support service in the first three months since its launch in October – including 150 Tamworth residents.
New Era provides free, confidential help and practical support to anyone affected by domestic abuse –– victims, perpetrators and their families – regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity, and operates across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
During the first three months, 1,396 victims of domestic abuse across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent sought help. The majority of them were women and around a quarter of them were aged 25 to 34. In the same period, 74 perpetrators of domestic abuse sought help; the majority of them (68) were men.
The figures revealed today by New Era also highlighted how domestic abuse is not restricted to one demographic group and is an issue that can affect people of any age.
Around 170 victims who contacted the service were aged 17 and under, while 11 were aged 65 or over. More than half (40) of the perpetrators who sought help were aged 35 and over.
In Tamworth, 150 people contacted New Era – 140 victims and 10 perpetrators of domestic abuse. Sixteen of the 140 victims were aged 17 or under.
Victims and perpetrators got in touch with New Era either through its confidential helplines, online chat facility, or were referred by the police and other agencies.
Around 408 of the 1,470 enquiries received during the first three months were from Stoke-on-Trent residents – 385 victims and 23 perpetrators – the highest of the local authority areas covered by New Era. South Staffordshire district had the lowest number of cases – 63 – of which 55 were from victims and eight from perpetrators.
Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, said:
“Whenever I meet victims who have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse, it reinforces just how important high-quality support is.
“It can be utterly traumatic and while it is good news that more victims are coming forward for help, the services available to support them must be consistent wherever they live.”
County Councillor Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities at Staffordshire County Council, said:
“Domestic abuse in all its forms is distressing enough without worrying whether the right support is available locally. The new service is clearly having an impact by providing support to victims, perpetrators and their families. I hope more people who are suffering abuse will have the confidence to come forward and seek help from the service.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor Randy Conteh, Cabinet Member Housing, Communities and Safer City, said: “Domestic abuse is a crime that cannot be tolerated and is something that, with our partners, we work hard to address. It is reassuring to know New Era is providing tailored support locally to those who are suffering from the effects of domestic abuse and to those who are at risk.
“We are committed to supporting victims of any kind of abuse and their children and families. I hope anyone affected by domestic abuse will feel able to access the brilliant support this service is providing.”
Through new arrangements and from the additional funds provided by the Staffordshire Commissioner – plus funding from Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council – anyone displaying unhealthy or abusive behaviour within their relationship, and wants to change this, can also access help from New Era.
New Era perpetrator services are provided through a tiered approach to rehabilitation, which includes tailored individual and group work programmes. They can also help children under 16 who need guidance around healthy relationships.