Published on 3rd June 2020

Funding has been awarded by Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner to help more survivors of domestic abuse seek support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cheshire East Council, Cheshire Without Abuse and the IDVA and Family Support Service successfully applied for a £1,000 grant to PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Express Grant Fund which takes money from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it back into communities.

The grant will be used to purchase 40 phones for clients struggling to get in touch with support services during lockdown. Survivors often need a separate and safe means of contacting them or the police and this has become difficult in lockdown.

The phones will be delivered to those that need them either by police officers specialising in tackling domestic abuse or other agencies working directly with survivors.

PCC David Keane said: “Domestic abuse is a hidden crime which is becoming more prevalent as people are trapped at home with abusive partners.

“Our support services do a fantastic job of providing help and support to survivors but some people have struggled to seek that support during lockdown.

“These devices will give survivors of domestic abuse a safe and secure way to get in touch away from their abuser.

“They will become a critical tool in keeping survivors safe at this time when people are restricted in the opportunities they have to seek help and advice.”

The Commissioner has also launched a campaign in partnership with the Chief Constable which encourages those suffering from domestic abuse and their friends and families to seek support.

The Open the Door campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue whilst showing people how to recognise the signs, know what to do and have the confidence to take action.

You can find out how to access local domestic abuse services in your area by visiting https://www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk/

If you need support and advice, you can also call Cheshire Police on 101 or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime is taking place, please call 999.