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Minister launches new ‘trailblazer’ domestic abuse support centre in memory of Assia Newton

Relatives of Assia Newton, a Pencoed resident who was tragically murdered in 2013 following decades of domestic abuse, have joined Minister for Public Services Leighton Andrews and representatives from the local authority and other organisations in Bridgend County Borough for the launch of a new domestic abuse centre.

Based at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, Bridgend, the Assia Suite is home to the Domestic Abuse Support and Information Service and brings together organisations such as South Wales Police, the Probation Service, Victim Support and Calan DVS as part of a multi-agency hub.
A ‘one stop shop’ approach means that people will be able to use the Assia Suite to access all of the help and support they need within a single setting, removing the need for them to contact individual organisations.
Funding for the project has been provided by organisations such as the Welsh Government, Home Office and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Speaking on behalf of Assia Newton’s family her sister, Nadia Salaman, said: “We as a family are proud to have my sister’s name associated with the Domestic Abuse Support and Information Service and hope that it gives help and advice to so many victims to prevent their families from going through what we have.
“It is an understatement to say my family are absolutely devastated by what happened and it’s a struggle every day without Assia in our lives. We now raise awareness so that no other family has to endure our living nightmare.
“We want to make people aware that domestic abuse comes in all forms, including physical as well as controlling, mental, financial and emotional abuse. Victims of domestic abuse are often embarrassed and frightened to get out of these relationships.
“What would be my advice? Contact the support service and get advice and help - if you need to leave, then you will be given the advice to do it safely.”
Minister Leighton Andrews said: “We are all too familiar with the shocking facts that last year more than 47,000 incidences of domestic abuse were reported in Wales, and two women are killed every week in the UK by a partner or ex-partner.
“Assia Newton’s family has been greatly affected by these facts. I am glad to see them here today to mark the opening of this multi-agency hub, named in honour of Assia.
“The Assia Suite will ensure that vital services are available in one place, and will make a significant impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“This will hopefully mean that fewer people will have to live through what Assia’s family has endured over the past two years.”
Council Leader Mel Nott OBE said: “The hardest part of confronting domestic abuse often lies in overcoming the stigma that is attached to it, so the Assia Suite has been developed with privacy and discretion in mind at a single, easily accessible location.
“The service provides confidential advice and support on issues that include physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, safety planning for victims and their children and more.
“Organisations have worked in close partnership on this trailblazer project and I am sure that it is going to help a great number of people. As a community, we need to take a united stance against domestic abuse, and the Assia Suite is going to be central to our joint efforts.
“I would urge anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or who may be concerned for a family member or friend but to contact the Domestic Abuse Support and Information Service for expert advice and support.”
To access the new Domestic Abuse Support and Information service, please ask for the ‘Assia Suite’ at the Civic Offices in Bridgend, or call 01656 815919. Alternatively, you can email the team at assia@calandvs.org.uk

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