Doncaster councillors are set to recieve training on how to recognise and prevent domestic abuse, as part of a council initative.
On Thursday (February 27) all 63 elected councillors will be trained by domestic abuse professionals on signs to look for, and barriers which prevent people from leaving abusive situations.
Coun Joe Blackham, Chair of the Safer Stronger Doncaster Partnership and Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Trading Services said: “We want to make sure that our councillors, our eyes and ears of the community, are fully aware of how to help constituents who may be in abusive situations.”
“This comprehensive training will make sure that our elected members are able to refer people into our service, and signpost those who might be at risk.”
December 2013 saw the introduction of a new free domestic abuse helpline in Doncaster, 0800 4701 505, as well as partners coming together to provide more focused services around community support, dispersed housing, a refuge and dedicated domestic abuse case workers.
Bob Sanderson, Strategic Lead for Domestic Abuse, Doncaster Council, said: “We want to continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse, and the work we are doing across Doncaster, to help elected Members to respond to issues they may come across during their casework. We will also be looking at reported incidents Ward by Ward, to make Members aware of the prevalence of the issue across Doncaster.”
As well as elected members being trained, staff and professionals are also being offered awareness training as part of the early intervention approach Doncaster is taking to the issue of domestic abuse.
A dedicated awareness campaign over recent months has meant that reports of domestic abuse are up, indicating that victims are feeling empowered to come forward and get the help and support they need.
Coun Blackham added: “We want people to understand that domestic abuse at any level is not acceptable. We are pleased to see increasing reports to the police of domestic abuse across the Borough as it has traditionally been under-reported, and if people come forward and either phone the helpline or the police, they can get help quickly. ”