A new support service is being set up by Blackpool Council to help people in the town who have suffered from domestic abuse.
The council has chosen Bispham-based Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA) to run the scheme for the next three to five years.
FCWA already offers advice services and operates three refuges on the Fylde Coast providing safe accommodation to 12 women and their dependent children at any one time.
The council, which will fund the new project from its existing budget, aims to set up a specialist team to work with partners throughout the town.
A town hall report says: ” The council, like other local authorities, is responding to complex challenges by reshaping its services and ensuring that resources are targeted where they can have the greatest impact. ”
Aims include to support people of medium or high risk of domestic abuse, those remaining in relationships, people with complex needs and those who are recovering from abuse and rebuilding their lives.
The service will link to voluntary and other statutory services and will offer a range of programmes, including peer support.
The report adds: “The council aims to offer support at the right stage, preventing the escalation of needs wherever possible, and reducing the likelihood of problems emerging in the first place.
“Services we commission will be focused on aiming to improve the
resilience and well-being and ensure support is provided at the right time in the right place.”
Data shows Blackpool has higher levels of domestic abuse than other parts of the country, although the number of victims can be difficult to record as often incidents go unreported.
But figures from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment report for Blackpool in 2018 show there were 1,912 domestic abuse crimes in Blackpool in 2016/17, which was an increase of 14 per cent compared to the previous year.
Twenty four-hour support is available for victims via the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or call 999 if you are in immediate danger.