Victims support workers are to be deployed in several accident and emergency (A&E) departments across Greater Manchester in order to try and improve support services for victims of domestic violence.
The new initiative will see victims offered support at a significantly earlier stage than it had previously been available.
According to a Rochdale News report, the domestic abuse specialists will work alongside hospital staff to improve the identification of potential victims when they appear for treatment in A&E departments. They will also help to simplify the process of referring victims on to support services.
The scheme was pioneered in Bury and has now been extended to hospitals in Rochdale, Tameside, Bolton and Oldham. It will be extended still further to North Manchester hospital early next year.
The scheme was launched by Tony Lloyd, the current Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester. He said:
“I’ve met and listened to victims of domestic violence and this is exactly the sort of service they’ve been crying out for. We know there are thousands of victims suffering at the hands of someone who is supposed to love and care for them, with no one to turn to, afraid and not aware of how to get help. This initiative is a lifeline for these hidden victims, empowering them to access support services much earlier. Early intervention will also help break the cycle of abuse helping prevent children who may witness domestic abuse becoming the next generation of victims and perpetrators.”
Photo by John M Kimmins under a Creative Commons licence