Domestic abuse – your views needed

Somerset County Council is seeking views on domestic abuse services as it helps plan what support will be available in the future

People are encouraged to complete a survey which is available up until 25 April, especially those who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse or sexual violence and accessed services.

The information collected will help draw up the Interpersonal Violence Strategy for the next three years.  This strategy indicates how agencies in Somerset will  tackle domestic abuse, sexual violence and other related topics such as forced marriage and trafficking.  The results will also help plan future services.

The survey covers questions about the current priorities for tackling domestic abuse, what services are currently available, how effective they have been and what support and services are most important to people.

Somerset County Council is carrying out the survey on behalf of the Safer Somerset Partnership which includes Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, health, local authorities and probation. The partnership is responsible for developing the Somerset Interpersonal Violence Strategy.

Councillor Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing and Community Safety, said: “When we’re planning for the future it’s important that we seek the views of those who use the services and I hope as many people as possible take the time to complete the survey and tell us what they think.

“Domestic abuse can affect everyone – whether directly through being in an abusive relationship, or through witnessing a friend or relative experiencing abuse.  It can affect people of all ages – children to the elderly.”

The results from the survey, along focus groups with service users and meetings with other interested parties, will help shape the new 2014-17 strategy.

To complete the survey please follow this link http://www.somersetconsults.org.uk/consult.ti/DomesticAbuse/consultationHome or search ‘consultations’ on the Council’s website. If you would like a paper copy of the survey, or the survey in a different format such as a different language, please contact Suzanne Harris on 01823 357836.