New service for domestic violence victims in Redbridge ‘will save lives’

L-R Pat Reynolds, Cllr Farah Hussain, Tracey Blackwell, Cllr Jas Athwal, Det Sup Mandy Beacher, Mark

L-R Pat Reynolds, Cllr Farah Hussain, Tracey Blackwell, Cllr Jas Athwal, Det Sup Mandy Beacher, Mark Benbow. Photo: Sandra Rowse - Credit: Archant

The one in four women affected by domestic violence (DV) was called a “figure that cannot be tolerated” at a new service launch on Friday.

A staged photo of a shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner. Photo: Dom

A staged photo of a shadow of a man with a clenched fist as a woman cowers in the corner. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Cllr Jas Athwal, council leader, highlighted the shocking number at the Refuge - Redbridge Violence against Women and Girls Service (RVAWGS) event.

“It is a sad fact that we have to start services,” he said.

During the past two-and-a-half-years five women, one man, and two children have died as a result of domestic situations.

Cllr Farah Hussain, cabinet member for A Fairer Redbridge said a service DV health check in 2012 showed more could be done to protect victims.


You may also want to watch:


She said: “While we were doing really well with dealing with incidents that were quite extreme, we were not doing so well with early intervention.

“This service is trying to rectify that.”

Most Read

Cllr Athwal said: “It will save lives and it will make a real difference.

“If we can go from one in four to one in five, we are going the right way.”

“We are determined to see a borough where domestic abuse is completely unacceptable,” added Cllr Hussain.

Delivered by national charity Refuge, the service now has one single point of access instead of several which confused people about where to go for help.

It began operating in November 2015 and has to date supported 168 people including three men.

Tracey Blackwell, the charity’s head of development, said: “55 per cent of those people reported a complete end to the abusive behaviour they were experiencing.”

Police figures show 183 domestic crimes were committed in January. Overall figures for similar crimes in London were 6324.

Det Supt Mandy Beacher, 49, deputy borough commander said: “When the police service was first established it was to keep the Queen’s peace.

“We’ve moved on a bit now to keeping London safe, but if people cannot be safe in their own home, we are not doing a very good job.”

The police service uses dedicated Community Safety Units and specially trained officers to investigate domestic abuse.

Nationally, figures show that two women die every week and 30 men per year at the hands of current or ex-partners.

The new service also offers outreach support to women suffering other forms of sexual violence including trafficking, prostitution and honour crimes. In October 2013, sex worker Mariana Popa, 24, was six weeks pregnant when stabbed to death on Ilford Lane.

To make the service more visible to women on their own territory, outreach workers will work from community based organisations, such as health services.

If anyone feels threatened or is at risk of violence call Refuge on 08001697759 or visit redbridgevawg@refuge.org.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus