Domestic Violence victims urged to help council improve services

Victims of domestic violence across Redbridge are being urged to help the council improve services.

Residents are being asked to complete a survey to help improve the support available to both men and women suffering from abuse to make sure the service is effective as possible.

A specialist coordinator has been appointed by the council to improve the response victims get when they access services and to help increase the number of victims reporting the violence and seeking help.

Redbridge has seen a 15% rise in reports of domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence One Stop Shop has also changed its location, time and day, to make it easier to access. It now takes place every Friday from 10am-12pm at the Vine Church Community Hall, Riches Road. Ilford. It is hoped the new time will mean more people can attend while children are at school, and the new location offers increased privacy.

It’s led by the victim support team and is for both male and female victims of violence who can get free advice and support from the police, local solicitors, housing advisors and teams offering emotional support.

The council says its front line workers are also receiving more training on how to spot domestic violence and a programme is being worked on to support potential perpetrators of the violence before they are convicted.

Redbridge Councillor Alex Wilson, member for Planning and Public Protection, said: “There is a lot of support for victims of domestic violence but we are always looking for ways to improve and to make sure residents know what is available. Domestic violence is a significantly under-reported crime and while we know reports have increased in the borough, we would expect some increase as access to support is improved. However we will continue to work with police and other organisations to provide support for victims.”

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A Redbridge Council spokeswoman added: “Examples of people who have been helped by the One Stop Shop includes a woman who spoke to one of our domestic violence advocates about her options. She didn’t want to go to a refuge so Victim Support helped her make an appointment with her housing advice centre and she was able to get legal advice from a solicitor about obtaining a non-molestation order. She was placed in temporary accommodation and obtained the order.

“Another person who was helped was a man who had been suffering emotional, psychological and physical abuse from his wife and in-laws. The independent domestic violence advocate accompanied him to the police station to report a recent incident and a referral was made to an immigration solicitor to get legal advice around his Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)in the UK. He was given a letter from the Domestic Violence Advocate to support his application. As a result he has got his ILR and has found employment which has enabled him to regain his independence.”

Visit to complete the survey.