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Better services available to victims of domestic abuse

Last modified: 9 June 2016 at 07:47pm

Domestic abuse can be devastating for all involved: victims, children, families and communities. It often causes lasting damage to physical and mental health.

Because of these damaging effects, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, and North Yorkshire Police are committed to working together to provide the appropriate services which improve victim safety, as well as a victim’s ability to cope and recover.

In October 2014, IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Service) was appointed by Julia Mulligan as the preferred Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) provider across York and North Yorkshire. Victims are allocated a single support worker who will continually support them from the offence being committed through to, where appropriate, the end of the court or criminal process. Very importantly, victims do not need to report an incident to the Police to access this support and can approach IDAS directly.

Since it’s launch, the service has supported over 450 domestic abuse victims and over 200 sexual abuse victims.

With additional support from Julia Mulligan, IDAS has recently relaunched their confidential helpline. The helpline is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Staffed by a team of accredited specialist workers who can provide immediate emotional and practical advice for anyone experiencing or who have experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse, and if necessary offer immediate referrals into the most appropriate support services, including emergency refuges.

Since the move to a round the clock helpline service, IDAS has received a significant number of out of hours calls, making it to be an invaluable line of support exactly when victims need it most.

IDAS has also recently launched a new and more responsive website which is a ‘one-stop shop’ of practical advice and information for all victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, their families, friends and professionals.

The website now also includes a secure online form for victims to refer themselves directly into IDAS services, again, without having to tell the police.

Commenting on the improved IDAS services, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “These services can be a lifeline for people going through, or who have gone through, this harrowing ordeal.  I would encourage anyone suffering in silence to either report their abusive partner or incident onto the police, or call the helpline if they don’t want the police involved.  These services are here to support you.”

Andrea Kell, Detective Chief Inspector with North Yorkshire Police said: “The provision of the 24 hour helpline and range of interactive services and guidance provided by the IDAS website provides invaluable emotional and practical support to victims of domestic abuse in one single location. North Yorkshire Police is victim focused and is committed to ensuring the best support is provided for their needs and encourages victims to come forward to the police’.

Sarah Hill, Director of, IDAS said: “The funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner has really boosted the services available for victims across the county and we have seen a significant increase in the number of people coming forward to get help.  The funding shows a real commitment to ensuring that victims and survivors are able to access a good service whether they choose to report to the police or not. I would encourage anyone who is worried about their relationship or who has experienced violence to please come forward and get the help they deserve.  ”

To receive support from IDAS, you do not need to be referred to the service by the Police or any other agency; you can contact them directly and speak to a trained Independent Domestic Violence Advisor or Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.

To find out more about the IDAS service visithttps://www.idas.org.uk/about-us/ or call 0808 2000 247.

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