£120,000 emergency fund lifelines paid out to help protect children from domestic abuse
The emergency funding package, launched in May 2020, was designed to help children and families throughout the force area, especially during a time of heightened exposure to abuse while isolating and not attending school.
By providing cash to cover counselling services, education programmes, helplines and intervention services, the fund aims to ensure young people do not become the forgotten victims of domestic abuse as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
A total of six organisations have been successful with their bids for funding to provide these services with larger grants given to those covering wider areas.
These include Children North East, Streetwise Young People’s Project and West End Women and Girls Centre.
It is hoped that the Home Office funding will help keep vital projects going and aid support groups in finding new ways of remotely reaching young people at risk by using social media and new digital technologies.
PCC Kim McGuinness said: “It’s essential that every child, and every family can access support.
“There are teenagers who are perhaps in their first relationships, without a clear idea of what healthy, normal, acceptable behaviour looks like.
“There are young children who are scared and frightened. You can try and protect them but they can hear stuff downstairs, some even try to stop it themselves.
“They can be left traumatised by the raised voices and violence that happens in what should be their safe place, their home. We need to reach them all. They’re all victims too.”
She added: “This problem impacts a worrying number of children and the pandemic and its restrictions has led to little or no respite for those suffering.
“This is why we need sufficient support to be on hand when things hit a crisis point and also to help prevent it happening in the first place.
“We also need to be prepared for supporting children who have experienced abuse, as they return to school.
“Charities, community groups and victims’ services have all been hit so hard, facing the many challenges of lockdown with little or no additional support. I hope this funding helps some of our excellent services continue their vital work.”
A full list of successful bids and the services they are providing can be found here.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can report an incident by ringing 101 or visiting www.northumbria.pnn.police.uk. Also in a non-emergency situation you can text the police on 07786 200814.
In an emergency, always call 999. If you dial 999 and are unable to speak, the emergency operator will ask you to dial 55 and to follow their instruction to quickly put you in touch with police.
Help is also available From Victims First Northumbria, who can be found at www.victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk or on 0800 011 3116.
More information on the domestic abuse fund can be found at www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan/commissioning-services-grants
Successful bids included:
West End Women and Girls Centre (£19,146)
Acorns Project (£28,506)
Gateshead Council Domestic Abuse Service (£8,750)
Cygnus Support (£8,300)
Children North East (£35,939)
Streetwise Young People’s Project (£23,019)