Abuse victims need help

Picture posed by models
Picture posed by models

URGENT action is needed to help victims of domestic abuse in the borough say health chiefs.

Following a survey of 82 health and care professionals in the region, 83 per cent said they did not believe there are adequate resources and services for victims of domestic abuse.

The survey was carried out at a conference earlier this month at Leigh Sports Village, which explored the impact of domestic abuse on children. The event was hosted by Wigan Council, children’s charity Barnardo’s, regional family law firm Stephensons Solicitors LLP and The Freedom Programme.

Domestic abuse was brought to the forefront of Wiganer’s minds, following the tragic death of 19 year old Carly Fairhurst six years ago.

Her boyfriend Darren Pilkington is currently serving a jail term for her manslaughter, which prompted her family to set up a charity in her name to offer help to victims of domestic abuse.

Her father Trevor gave a moving account of what domestic abuse can do to families at the conference.

Abby Ogier, Barnardo’s North West lead for domestic abuse work, said: “Barnardo’s has long recognised the impact of domestic abuse on the lives of children and young people. In the North West we work directly with children who have lived with domestic abuse at home, support teenage victims of relationship abuse and also run services that support adult victims of domestic abuse. We are committed to working with other agencies to meet the needs of these children, young people and their families.

“I was delighted to be asked to speak at this conference which brought together professionals from the legal and social care fields to share knowledge and to build on existing partnership work. Our understanding of the impact on children and young people and how we can address it is constantly developing and it is important that investment in support services is made in order to prevent costly, longer term damage.”

Survey respondents were asked what services they would like to see more investment in to assist domestic abuse victims. The responses point towards the perceived gaps there are in the provision of such services in the region, in spite of the work of a large number of organisations and charities.