Services to help victims of domestic abuse from becoming re-victimised have been given a £60,000 boost by Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Philip Seccombe visited the new officers of the Domestic Abuse Counselling Service (DACS) in Bedworth this week, to present the charity with funding from his Commissioner’s Grants Scheme. The money will help to fund two programmes: the first is aimed at reducing the risk of people becoming repeat victims of domestic abuse, while the second encourages perpetrators to change their behaviour.
DACS has provided counselling services for the past 11 years and the new funding will allow the charity to expand its outreach programme and also provide services from its second base in Stratford-upon-Avon, ensuring increased county-wide coverage.
Currently, DACS provides counselling for around 100 victims and 40 perpetrators each week, with clients being of all ages and genders. Referrals are received from a wide variety of sources, including victim support agencies, the police, social services and through Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC). Clients can also self-refer.
Each victim receives a programme of free one-to-one therapeutic intervention sessions with qualified and experienced counsellors, to help them understand the risks they face, the long-term effects of domestic abuse and to help them plan for the future, with the aim of reducing their chances of re-victimisation.
Perpetrators are helped to understand their patterns of behaviour and how these can affect their partner and/or children, along with strategies to help improve self-control and resolve conflict without violence.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Putting victims and survivors first and protecting people from harm are two of the main objectives of my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire, so I am delighted to be able to support DACS in the vital work it does to help tackle domestic abuse.
“By providing a county-wide service, DACS will be able to help more people and will also be able to continue their important work with perpetrators, which can have a dramatic impact in reducing re-victimisation.”
Kate Farmer, Chief Officer of DACS added: “This funding allows us to be where we are most needed. The money that we have been given for perpetrators’ services will also allow us to put a counsellor out in the south of the county for the first time. That will definitely help people who wanted to come and access our services before but couldn’t get to us here in Nuneaton or Bedworth, so it will remove that block.
“For victims, it will allow us to respond as fast as we possibly can to those that need us the most. These are the most vulnerable and the most at risk, who need our help straight away.”
To find out more about DACS, visit www.dacservice.org.uk.