Every year, around 10,000 adults, children and young people turn to domestic abuse charity Leeway for support.
Ahead of its 40th anniversary celebrations later today, Stephen Bett had high praise for the charity as he reflected on his involvement with Leeway since becoming Norfolk’s PCC.
“Knowing that tackling domestic abuse would be a key priority for me as PCC, it was an obvious first step to make contact with Leeway”, he said. “As one of the key domestic abuse support providers in Norfolk, they are a mine of knowledge, skill and experience, with an in-depth understanding of exactly how domestic abuse is affecting our county.
"I am delighted to have been able to work with and support Leeway, and I hope our working relationship will continue to flourish. 40 years of victim support is a fantastic achievement - I hope there are many more years ahead of you." PCC Stephen Bett
“Leeway provides a whole range of services to women, men and children experiencing domestic abuse – one of those services being advocacy support for victims. The Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) provided by Leeway focus on the most vulnerable victims, working to keep them safe from harm and provide a consistent source of information, help and advice. Recognising the need for victims to be supported in this way, one of my first decisions as PCC was to allocate some funding to continue this vitally important service in Norfolk and, during 2013/14, the IDVAs supported almost 1,400 victims.
“During my first year in office, Leeway was a key contributor in early discussions around how Norfolk’s approach to tackling domestic abuse could be more joined-up, how victims could be better supported and their experience of the criminal justice system improved.
“And their input has played a significant role in identifying the priority areas in which Norfolk needs to take action, such as working with children, looking at the support available to victims through investigation and court processes, and improving training. My Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Co-ordinator, Ian Sturgess, is currently working with partners across the county to take this work forward.
“I am delighted to have been able to work with and support Leeway, and I hope our working relationship will continue to flourish. 40 years of victim support is a fantastic achievement, even more so when you consider the financial challenges faced by charities across the country.
“Happy anniversary Leeway. I hope there are many more years ahead of you.”
For more information on the work of Leeway, visit www.leewaysupport.org