Future of Domestic Abuse Counselling Service secured by Town Trust funding

CRITICAL funding keeping a domestic abuse counselling service open in Stratford has been granted by Stratford Town Trust.

The Trust will support the Domestic Abuse Counselling Service – known as DACS – over the next 3 years, awarding £99,000 in total, which is £33,000 per year.

It’s the final multi-year funding grant being announced by the Town Trust in 2018.

Without the funding, DACS, which see an average of 20 victims of domestic abuse every week, faced withdrawing its services from the town.

DACS founder and chief executive Kate Farmer said: “Unfortunately domestic violence is increasing year-on-year. Twenty-five per cent of national violent crime is domestic abuse. It’s a huge issue but government support is not increasing in line with need and doesn’t focus on preventative work.

“We’ve faced a very difficult financial year with our Lottery funded project for victims ending in July and we have also experienced reduced funding streams across the sector, largely because many independent funders feel it’s a government issue. This support from Stratford Town Trust over the next 3 years is amazing. It means we can plan ahead, secure our position in Stratford and keep our counsellors who provide valuable expert counselling services to victims of domestic abuse in the town.  Without Stratford Town Trust, we faced withdrawing our Stratford service.”

DACS, which has been supporting abuse victims for the past 13 years across Warwickshire, is part of a multi-agency response service, receiving around 80 referrals a year for the Stratford town area.

DACS counsellors work with abuse victims to provide tailored counselling for as long as required – helping both women and men, from the ages of 18 to 80-plus, experiencing physical, psychological, financial and sexual abuse.

DACS aim is to reduce risk of abuse either when victims want to continue their relationship, or to support them in making a safe exit if they want to leave.

A key part of the work undertaken by DACS is also preventative – helping people to evaluate their relationships so they avoid entering into another abusive one in the future.

Sara Aspley, Chief Executive of Stratford Town Trust, said: “We are very proud to support DACS and to be able to award this multi-year funding over the next 3 years to secure the future of this absolutely invaluable service and to ensure the abuse victims supported can still be supported.”

Anyone concerned about domestic abuse can contact DACS for support – call 02476 351137, email kate.farmer@dacservice.org.uk or visit www.dacservice.org.uk for more.

Stratford Town Trust is a grant-giving charity dedicated to supporting local people and community projects. Since 2001 the Trust has distributed around £2 million each year in a diverse programme of grant-making, from large grants to small levels of funding.

The final grants of 2018 will be announced soon, with applications for funding in 2019 being invited in February.

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