The Council will look to approve the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 Implementation Strategy at Cabinet on 14 September to help keep victims and their family safe.
The Domestic Abuse Act was passed on 29 April 2021 to 'support all victims of domestic abuse'. It aims to give victims the confidence to come forward and report their experiences, safe in the knowledge that the authorities will do everything possible to support them and their children and bring the abuser to justice.
In 2020 in Southend, there were 2,933 reported domestic abuse incidents where a child was in the household. The needs assessment carried out by the council as part of the development of this strategy, also found that the highest level of domestic abuse in Southend occurs in the most deprived areas.
The council is committed to ensuring that this strategy meets the requirements in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 for Local Authorities and addresses the needs of survivors of domestic abuse and their families. For every incident, even those which go unreported, there is an impact on an individual’s quality of life, on their children and extended family.
The strategy outlines how the local authority is required to undertake a local needs assessment to make sure there is support and safe accommodation for the victim and their children including those who come from outside of their area. It will be published on 31 October 2021.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “This initial strategy begins to address the needs of the many victims of domestic abuse in our borough. Domestic abuse impacts on all areas of society and can take many forms, not just violence, but also controlling behaviour and financial abuse. The impact on the victims, and children growing up within a household where domestic abuse is occurring, is often devastating, having long term effects on their mental and physical wellbeing and therefore, intervention for our young people is crucial to prevent future harm.
“Perpetrator intervention, both punitive and supportive, are also important to interrupt the cycle of abuse. No person should have to experience domestic abuse and the council will work with its partners to strengthen and coordinate the prevention, early detection and response to make sure the service provision meets the needs of all our residents and enables them to move on with their lives free from fear.”
The strategy will be reviewed and further developed within the next twelve months to more fully articulate the council’s and its partners approach to domestic abuse in Southend, once initial development actions have been undertaken.
If you are suffering domestic abuse, or know someone who is, then please contact the police or call the Freephone Domestic Abuse number on 0800 3580351.
For further advice and information about support groups see the following websites: