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Council invests in stronger support for domestic abuse victims

A new approach to domestic abuse services in Somerset aims to break the cycle of abuse, reduce repeat offending and offer stronger support for victims and families.

Somerset County Council’s domestic abuse service – Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS) – launches its new service this week (1 April) which will incorporate additional investment in safe accommodation and support to victims, perpetrators and children across Somerset.

Cllr Adam Dance, Somerset County Council Executive Lead Member for Public Health, said: “This is a strong and timely step forward in Somerset’s ability to support victims of domestic abuse.

“Police data shows that in Somerset, 38.7% of all violent offences are domestic abuse related. We also know that there has been an increase in the number of domestic abuse related deaths in Somerset since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“By commissioning specialist support for people experiencing domestic abuse, their families, and those who cause harm, we are working to stop the cycle of abuse and prevent repeat offending, while offering essential safety planning for those in the highest need.”

The new wider service will offer a more holistic type of support, with interventions for anybody, of any risk factor, whose life is impacted by domestic abuse that they are experiencing or have experienced in the past.

From the first week in May, the support hub will be physically opening its doors between 5pm and 8pm – allowing people to access one-to-one support in person. In addition, the service is launching a number of pop-up hubs across the county allowing the public to get in person support in their area.

To find a hub location near you go to: https://somersetsurvivors.org.uk/community-support/

SIDAS will be working with schools, businesses and other organisations to increase awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and how to respond to it.

The contract for the service was awarded to providers last year, following a rigorous procurement process. It will ensure Somerset County Council is able to provide sufficient safe accommodation and support for women, men and children experiencing domestic abuse.

There are five elements that have been awarded to three organisations:

Providing a place of contact for victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. The Central Hub will coordinate those peoples’ support, ensuring they get the best service

Specialist support for children and young people who have experienced or witnessed abuse

  • Advocacy and Support – The You Trust
    Providing one-to-one and group support for victims of domestic abuse
  • Safe Accommodation – Julian House

Providing an increased range of safe accommodation options for people of all genders with or without children who are fleeing domestic abuse

  • Counselling for adults and children who are in Safe Accommodation – Fearless

James Dore, SIDAS Strategic Manager from The You Trust, said: “We are pleased to be working with Fearless and Julian House, to provide this new and expanded service. Working together we will be able to help more people than ever before.”

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality or religion – and help is available to anybody experiencing it. Domestic abuse remains an under-reported crime, particularly among male victims, older victims, and young people.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999, between 8am – 8pm.

In an emergency you should always dial 999. If you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent, tap the phone and dial 55 when prompted by the operator who will send help.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can register with emergencySMS.net. Once registered you will be able to send a text to 999 if you require help in an emergency.

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Financial Risk Management Policy - March 2023

Grant Application Kings Coronation Form

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023, with an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023.

We are keen to hear from groups/organisations in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge that are looking to celebrate the Coronation. The Town Council has £1500 available to allocate to events being organised to celebrate the Kings Coronation. The maximum grant to be allocated per event will be £500.

You must meet the following criteria for your application to be considered:

– The event will be open to all members of the public

– The event will be free of charge

– The event will take place within the Coronation weekend

– The event will take place within Burnham on Sea or Highbridge

 

Applications will close on Monday 6th March at midday. 

Your organisation and contact details

What happens next....
Applications will be considered at the Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on Monday 13th March 2023. You will be notified after this date whether your application has been successful.
Burnham & Highbridge Town Council takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information for the purposes of contacting you about this grant. The Council’s privacy notice can be found here.

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