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Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP to develop new ‘Safe Community’

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Causeway Coast and Glens Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) is launching a new project, working with partners to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the wide range of support that is available for anyone that lives in the community.

Onus, a social enterprise specialising in domestic abuse training, has developed a range of Pathways for Participation, for anyone to get information on how to get support following the effects of abuse in the home.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan commented, “We are delighted to be one of the first Councils in Northern Ireland to work towards becoming a ‘Safe Community’ for anyone affected by domestic abuse, starting with the first step in becoming a Safe Community through the launch of ‘Safe Place’.

“Safe Place is an outreach initiative with local businesses and organisations, to highlight the support available for anyone affected by domestic abuse, through provision of ‘Safe Place’ resources.”

PCSP Chair Councillor James McCorkell commented, “We hope to work further with Onus on the next Pathways for Participation, the ‘Safe Employer’ initiative, to assist employers to recognise when domestic abuse is affecting an employee, and in partnership with support organisations, offer an effective response.

“We have in place plans to develop Safe Place and Safe Employer across Causeway Coast and Glens Council area, with a view to developing a number of ‘Safe Community’ areas.”

A Safe Community promotes zero tolerance to domestic violence or abuse and recognises that domestic violence or abuse impacts upon many people living or working there, regardless of age, religion, disability, ethnic or cultural background and while the majority of victims are female, domestic violence or abuse can be experienced by men and by people in same sex relationships.

There is excellent support available for anyone experiencing abuse, through services such as Women’s Aid, Men’s Advisory Project and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), to name but a few.  However Council is also aware that the vast majority do not go directly to these services, whether they are unaware of them or do not think that these services can help them.

Council aims to raise awareness through the Safe Community initiative of how residents can get support if in an abusive relationship.  For anyone who feels they are not safe at home, this reassurance that this is a ‘Safe Community’ where anyone will be able to access the support needed, in confidence and without judgement.

The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is open to all women and men affected by domestic violence. This free phone service, 0808 802 1414, is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

To find out more about Safe Community or other Onus ‘Pathways for Participation’ on how to support people living with domestic abuse, visit: http://www.onustraining.co.uk

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