NEW ERA is the new domestic abuse (DA) service which has launched across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, providing free, confidential support and services for everybody affected by domestic abuse.
The service supports adults, children and young people with help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The organisation will ensure consistency for victims and their families who will no longer face a postcode lottery when they need specialist support.
The new service builds on the work of the previous service providers, Arch, Pathway Project and Women’s Aid and aims to end relationship abuse, focusing on prevention and early intervention.
New Era is the result of the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office working with the Stoke City Council and Staffordshire County Council over the last two years to enhance the support available for victims of domestic abuse no matter where they live in Staffordshire or Stoke-on-Trent.
Existing money for Domestic Abuse services from the county and city councils is being supplemented by an additional £1.8 million over three years by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office to provide the enhanced services.
Specially-trained New Era staff are able to help whether a report has been made to the police or not.
Victim services are provided by Victim Support based in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and are available for everyone with a focus on their safety and recovery.
Anyone who is displaying unhealthy or abusive behaviour within their relationship and wants to change can also access help from New Era. Perpetrator services are being provided by Reducing Reoffending Partnership (RRP).
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Councillor Gill Heath said: ‘The extra money being provided by the commissioner will help ensure the right services are more easily available for those who need them. Domestic abuse in all its forms is traumatic enough without worrying whether the right support is available locally.’
The new service, including Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) will be complemented by existing refuge provision to provide a really comprehensive support system for anyone affected by domestic abuse.
Councillor Randolph Conteh, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: ‘I believe the quality of services and the support available should not depend on where someone lives. We’ve worked hard with the county council and Staffordshire Commissioner to ensure the best support is available for all victims of domestic abuse no matter where they live.’
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Matthew Ellis said: ‘Victims who are subjected to physical and psychological abuse need high-quality support to rebuild their lives.
‘This new approach is vital to breaking down the revolving door situation in which perpetrators of abuse continue to re-offend, particularly if there has been insufficient evidence to pursue a conviction.
‘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. New Era will ensure it really is a new era for all those affected by Domestic Abuse.’