• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Domestic abuse charity Reducing the Risk to train ‘friends’ to support victims

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 21, 2022

NEW support is being offered to victims of domestic abuse, with support staff being trained to listen and help.

West Oxfordshire District Council is working with Oxfordshire charity Reducing the Risk to train so-called 'friends' to listen and lend a hand to anyone experiencing violence in the home.

The council received funding from the Government as part of the Covid Outbreak and Management Fund (COMF).

Small sessions have been held in community settings to start conversations around domestic abuse and raise awareness of it.

The COMF money also enabled Reducing the Risk to set up an online community within their resource hub for West Oxfordshire residents.

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Cllr Joy Aitman, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities, said: “Domestic abuse is a hidden issue in our local community. It is so important to be able to spot the signs and be able to help those in danger.

“The pandemic made it even less safe for those people experiencing domestic abuse as they were often stuck in the house with their abuser. Recent evidence also shows that people in rural areas are likely to experience domestic violence for longer than those in built up areas, as it can be much more difficult to reach out for help in rural areas where people know each other.

"This is why it is so important for us to be able to provide support in West Oxfordshire.

Dawn Hodson, CEO of Reducing the Risk, added: “Breaking into communities is an ongoing job for us. The funding helped us develop an approach to reach in and educate anyone about why people stay in abusive relationships, the impact this abuse has and where they can direct people for help and support."

  • To find out more about Reducing the Risk go to https://reducingtherisk.org.uk/about-us/
  • If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse please contact the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 731 0055 (Monday to Friday 10-7) or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

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