Centre to target domestic abuse

Coun Roger Berry
Coun Roger Berry

A NEW women’s centre in Fleetwood is set to target the rising tide of domestic violence.

At a recent meeting of Wyre Council it was revealed there were 763 incidents of household abuse in Wyre between April and August this year.

And in the same period there were 213 domestic related crimes.

The issue has implications for the health and well being not only of the women themselves, but children caught in the crossfire who often witness disturbing scenes which can cause long-term mental damage.

It is hoped a new women’s centre planned to open in Fleetwood in the next few months will provide a lifeline for those suffering from abuse and make a dent in the shocking crime statistics.

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “The Wyre Community Safety Partnership has agreed six-month pilot funding for a women’s centre in Fleetwood.

“This will be an out reach project delivered by the existing Blackpool Women’s Service and supported by the Lancashire Probation Trust.

“It is likely to be a one-stop shop working for women offenders and women vulnerable to offending within the area.

“The focus will be on identifying issues which can lead to women‘s criminal behaviour and providing early intervention which in turn prevents crime, develops safer communities and improves the health and well being of individuals and their families.”

At last month’s meeting, councillor Roger Berry said the figures relating to domestic violence did not include additional hidden levels of unreported crime which lay below the surface.

He added that there was extensive police and local authority activity taking place to deal with the problems and he hoped the centre would reduce cases of domestic violence.

Wyre councillor Andrea Turner agreed the number of reported cases was just the start of the problem She added: “These figures are reported crimes, how many hidden levels of unreported crimes are there.

“These could be the tip of the iceberg in that respect.”

Shocking statistics suggest that as many as one in four women will suffer some form of domestic violence in their lifetime, from either current or ex-partners.

It is a complex problem because the victims have such close ties with their attackers if they are a current partner, and may stay with them for a number of reasons.

But now concerted efforts are being made to tackle it.