Cheshire Constabulary has recruited an additional three Domestic Violence Advocates (DVAs) in its relentless pursuit of tackling domestic abuse.
The DVAs will provide specialist and dedicated support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse across Cheshire.
Police officers will work with the DVAs as part of a domestic abuse early intervention and victim support initiative for those suffering from abuse in a domestic setting.
The victim-focused initiative involves a dedicated police officer and a DVA jointly assessing each domestic abuse incident that has been reported and carrying out follow-up visits to each victim to provide specialist information, advice and support when they need it most.
The DVAs will also give advice and guidance to police officers in how best to support victims and survivors by understanding their perspectives within an incident.
DVAs can quickly identify the levels of risk posed to the victim, complete onward referrals to the appropriate services and work with relatives, where necessary, to best support victims.
Embedding these support services to sit alongside investigators and operational teams will ensure connectivity, accessibility and greater engagement of the victim in the judicial process.
This will be reinforced by strengthening the referral pathways across all areas of the county ensuring all victims can access support services regardless of their geographical location.
By providing this face-to-face work, Cheshire Police’s aim is to increase victims’ confidence in the support available and build the kind of trusting relationship with specialist services that leads to long-term safety and recovery.
It is intended that all victims will receive this level of support and that it will stand as a model of best practice not only in Cheshire but also nationally.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, who secured the funding for the additional DVAs, said, “I’m delighted to have secured this funding and to see it making a real difference to the way the constabulary supports victims of domestic abuse.
“I want every victim to know that there are DVAs ready to support you and help you recover.
“These new DVAs will complement existing resources in local authorities and hospitals across Cheshire and will enable the constabulary to reach even more people.
“I fully share the constabulary’s aim of rooting out domestic abuse. We’re seeing more people arrested for domestic abuse offences, and the reintroduction of a specialist Domestic Abuse Court earlier this year is a prime example of our commitment to victims.”
Image: Cheshire Constabulary