A new Wakefield service supports survivors of domestic abuse

A new service to help victims of domestic abuse is to be launched to support victims of domestic abuse in the Wakefield District.

The Domestic Abuse Navigator Service (DAN) will provide personalised support for those who are affected by repeated incidents of abuse. It will support victims who may be isolated, have low self-esteem and have a chaotic lifestyle. The service will offer help to tackle issues such as mental health, homelessness, substance abuse and re-offending which are often underlying factors in domestic abuse.

The service is being funded with £190,000 that has been awarded to Wakefield Council by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), as one of 11 projects to help tackle crime and community safety initiatives. The initiative will run in partnership with Spectrum Health CIC.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Communities, said: “Domestic abuse is completely and utterly unacceptable and everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home. The new service will give vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society to help them to get the help they need to move forward and have a better life.”

Dr Linda Harris, Chief Executive of Spectrum, expressed her enthusiasm for the new service and the opportunity it presents Wakefield to protect and support victims of repeated domestic abuse. She said: “Our evaluation of this project will also help us understand and address this issue as an underlying cause of physical and mental ill health and identify good practice for other projects in the region.”

The DAN service will offer people expert help, tailored to their personal needs. Repeat victims of domestic abuse are likely to have financial issues and housing problems, which need to be addressed to help break the cycle of abuse.

The service will also link with the Operation Encompass initiative which was set up to support children after they have witnessing a domestic abuse incident.

The DAN service will run in the Wakefield district for one year, with potential to expand across West Yorkshire if successful. Anyone can experience domestic abuse, any age, social background, education level, working or unemployed, any ethnic background, married, single, same sex partnerships, any level of physical ability, with or without children. And anyone can be a perpetrator of abuse.

Spectrum will recruit two full-time Domestic Abuse Navigators as part of the project, which begins on 1 August 2018.

For more information about the Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Service visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/domesticabuse