New bid to counter spiralling epidemic of domestic abuse in Portsmouth

From left, senior support worker Czarina Jacobs, Portsmouth service manager Rachel Windebank, CEO Claire Lambon and business support and development manager Jo Eamey
From left, senior support worker Czarina Jacobs, Portsmouth service manager Rachel Windebank, CEO Claire Lambon and business support and development manager Jo Eamey
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A NEW service in Portsmouth seeks to counter the spiralling epidemic of domestic abuse.

With over 22,00 women affected by domestic abuse in the city, charity Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) aims to offer new ideas to help curb the growing problem.

The new service will offer refuge accommodation for 16 women and their children as well as provide community based support services that also includes young people and men.

The charity hopes to make a difference by offering a variety of choices to sufferers which also includes group work, workshops and one to one support.

The new service is commissioned by Portsmouth City Council and the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner. The charity will continue to deliver existing services including helping children and young people affected by domestic abuse in schools and those with unhealthy behaviours in their relationships.

Claire Lambon, CEO of SDAS, said: ‘I am delighted to be delivering commissioned domestic abuse services in Portsmouth. I believe it is important to ensure that people affected by domestic abuse have a wide range of support needs and the new service will tailor support packages to individual need.

‘SDAS has an excellent track record of providing high quality support services. We will maintain these high standards in our existing services and will transfer the skills, enthusiasm and dedication to the new service.’

When asked if Portsmouth has a problem with domestic abuse, Ms Lambon replied ‘absolutely’ before pointing out that throughout the UK a quarter of women are affected by domestic abuse.

‘There are so many different types of abuse that people suffer, whether it’s coercive, physical , emotional, or financial. We aim to help people that suffer all different types of abuse and offer them a choice, which is something sufferers often don’t have.

‘They often live a life where they are controlled so we aim to give them a life free of this control,’ Ms Lambon added.

Councillor Julie Bird, who has spoken personally about the impact of domestic abuse previously, said: ‘It is brilliant news. I can’t praise these sort of services enough for the work they do.

‘There is still a lot that needs to be done, including recognising the signs, which are not just physical.

‘People need to understand it is whole rebuilding job of someone’s life – especially if they are forced to move away – and they need a lot of support, even if just donating old clothes for their children.’

Anyone affected by domestic abuse should contact SDAS on 02392 065494.