The Domestic Abuse (DA) Bill is being introduced to ensure Local Authorities offer help and support to anyone experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The Bill is expected to come in over the next 12 months. Local authorities in Dorset have always been committed to providing advice and support in the community, along with safe accommodation.

The DA Bill will make it a statutory duty for all councils to provide such support going forwards.

Following a recent tender process, Dorset Council and The YOU Trust are about to enter into a new contract for the Domestic Violence and Abuse service, lasting for two to five years.

Starting in April 2020, the new service aims to support people earlier and will offer a range of help and advice. Closer-working with partner agencies and innovative workshops will help people recognise abuse earlier and the service will include better support in the community, safe accommodation and housing, practical, financial and emotional advice. The service aims to increase the safety and protection of people and their families experiencing domestic violence and abuse and to prevent harm, escalation of abuse and risk.

The service will be available to anyone aged 16 and over. This includes male, female and transgender victims with or without children and those living with or separated from the perpetrator.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety at Dorset Council, said:

“This is a great development in Dorset’s continued commitment to helping people experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Dorset is ahead of the curve in its preparations for the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.

“Helping people to build links to local networks of support will be the foundations for the next successful step in preventing domestic violence and abuse in Dorset.”

Tonia Redvers, Head of Domestic Abuse for YOU said:

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dorset Council and are looking forward to the challenges ahead to meet the needs of those people experiencing domestic abuse in Dorset. ‘You First’, our domestic abuse team, has been developed with our Dorset Communities and we will ensure that we can meet our commitments under the Domestic Abuse Bill. We will work together to keep our communities safe, recognise abuse earlier and support those experiencing violence and abuse”

Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse can contact You First on 0800 032 5204 or by visiting our website.

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