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New Domestic Abuse support service launches as White ribbon campaign gets underway

BCBC staff and councillors speaking out against domestic abuse

As the annual White Ribbon Campaign gets underway – aiming to end domestic violence against women – a new service has been launched in Bridgend which offers victims access to a wide range of support.

Based at the Civic Offices on Angel Street, the Domestic Abuse Support and Information Service brings organisations such as the council, South Wales Police, Probation Service, Victim Support and Calan DVS together as part of a multi-agency hub.

The service provides confidential advice and support on issues ranging from physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, safety planning for victims and their children, and more.

Intended to be a one-stop-shop, the service caters for people who may be experiencing domestic abuse as well anyone who is concerned for the wellbeing of a friend or family member.

To access the service, and speak to someone in confidence, please ask at reception for the ‘Assia Suite’. The suite has been named in honour of Assia Newton, from Pencoed, who was tragically murdered in her home after decades of domestic abuse.

Bridgend County Borough Council is once again supporting the annual White Ribbon campaign, and Council Leader Mel Nott OBE said: “It is important that the whole community takes a shared stance against domestic abuse, and as a council we are determined to be at the forefront of this.

“We are proud to launch the new Domestic Abuse Support and Information service and would urge anyone who is affected by domestic abuse to speak to someone who can provide essential support.”

The annual White Ribbon Day (Wednesday 25 November) marked the start of 16 days of action to end domestic violence against women, and each day a special White Ribbon flag is being raised at the council’s Civic Offices.

Councillors have also shown their support for Calan DVS’ #SpeakOut campaign, which has used social media throughout November to invite people to take a stance and raise awareness of domestic violence issues.

Councillor Marlene Thomas, the council’s Domestic Abuse Champion said: “Domestic abuse statistics make startling reading. Did you know that every week, two women are killed in the UK by their ex or partner? Or that almost half of all women in the UK will experience domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking at some point in their lives?

“Nobody should live in fear, and it is also important to remember that emotional abuse is as damaging as physical abuse. We must all work together to end violence against women and, as always, I am keen to do all that I can to encourage others to speak out.”

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. To find out more about the White Ribbon Campaign, visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.

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