We are working with Bury Council to support those who are living with domestic abuse to move towards a healthier and more secure future, as part of Bury’s new Community Safety Plan, which includes a new approach to reducing domestic abuse.
We were recently commissioned to deliver 20 units of safe accommodation within the Bury area. They currently provide 6 emergency accommodation spaces, with plans to open a new 10-bedroom refuge in the summer and develop additional safe accommodation specifically for men.
The provision of refuge accommodation forms part of the response to an independent review of domestic abuse provision as part of the strengthening of the council’s approach to supporting victims of Domestic Abuse and reducing this type of offending in the future.
The Domestic Abuse Strategy sets out how the council and its partners are going to meet this priority by making sure all victims can access timely and effective information, advice and support where they need it.
We’ve been providing specialist support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse across the North West for more than 40 years. This includes women from the BAME community, high level vulnerable women and providing safe accommodation for men, women, and children.
By working in partnership with Bury Council, we can offer a wider range of services across the borough, including refuge facilities and safe houses; community outreach support and Independent Domestic Violence Advocate services, ongoing legal support; whole family safeguarding; forced marriage and honour-based abuse; crisis intervention and more.
Bury Council’s Community Safety Plan sets out a priority for supporting victims and tackling the causes of domestic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 makes it clear that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, controlling, or coercive, and economic abuse.
It creates new powers, overseen by a Domestic Abuse Commissioner. It also places a duty on local authorities to provide safe accommodation support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges.
It recognises that both women and men can be the victims of domestic abuse. It will make sure that individuals and communities have the means to recognise and understand domestic abuse and live in a culture of healthy relationships.
The vital work carried out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week helps people and families move towards happier, more independent lives, free from domestic abuse.
Alex Atkinson, Head of Support Services at SafeNet, said: “We have been delivering Domestic Abuse services in Bury since 2019 in partnership with Bury Community Safety Partnership. Through this next step, we‘re pleased to have the opportunity to develop much-needed safe emergency accommodation for all victims and survivors living in the Borough”.
“This has strengthened the support available for all survivors who are experiencing domestic abuse, giving them a wider range of interventions to help them feel safe and supported, both within the community and if they need to safely leave their current situation.”
Councillor Richard Gold, Bury Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, added that the refuge was one part of the overall strategy to tackle domestic abuse and violence.
“Supporting victims and tackling the causes of domestic abuse is one of the priorities of the Community Safety Plan. The plan builds on the work of the previous three years and the most important contribution has come directly from listening to our communities and residents. We have spoken with people from communities across the borough, at neighbourhood events, about what makes them feel unsafe and what should we do about it.
“We have appointed an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate in Fairfield Hospital to support victims of domestic abuse and launched a service for perpetrators to support them to change their behaviour.
“Our partnership with SafeNet means that victims do have somewhere safe to go.”
Councillor Clare Cummins, Bury Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Services added: “Having somewhere safe to live is critical to providing that support for the victims.
“Sadly, this sort of emergency accommodation has become much needed, but the accommodation support that SafeNet is providing is just part of the package of support available for victims of domestic abuse.”