WOMEN and men who are most at risk of domestic violence are to benefit from a funding boost of £500,000.
Southern Domestic Abuse service has been awarded a grant by The Big Lottery Fund.
The cash will help pay for more Independent Domestic Violence Advisors – highly-trained professionals who deal with victims in danger of serious harm or homicide.
The service, which started as Havant Women’s Refuge, continues to go from strength to strength.
Last year there were fears it might lose the services it provides across Havant, Waterlooville and East Hampshire when Hampshire County Council launched its re-tendering process.
But the organisation was awarded the contract and has now expanded out into Fareham and Gosport. It currently runs four refuges.
Claire Chatwin, chief executive, said: ‘We are very grateful to The Big Lottery for recognising the importance and value of the work we do and providing the funding which will ensure that we can continue to deliver improving and increased services to meet the needs of those that are at risk of serious injury or even death.
‘The funding will part-fund an existing project focusing on high-risk victims/survivors of domestic abuse by supporting them from the point of crisis to plan appropriate safety management strategies. The project will expand the services geographically and increase the number of victims of domestic abuse it supports, aiming to put them on the path to long-term safety.’
Jo Eamey, business support and development manager, said: ‘Quite often when clients access IDVAs they might be going through the courts.
‘They will support them through the court process and will do individual safety plans to make them as safe as possible and look at ways of moving forward from the abuse.’
A total of 541 people made contact with the organisation between April and June of this year.
To call the Havant office dial (023) 9248 0246, East Hampshire call 01420 590109 and Fareham and Gosport call 01329 285375.