West Midlands will have 33 experts to support victims of domestic abuse

West Midlands Police has secured Government funding to recruit 33 experts to provide domestic abuse support for people.

West Midlands will have 33 experts to support victims of domestic abuse

The new experts include Independent Domestic Violence Advocates [IDVA] and Independent Sexual Violence Advisers [ISVA].

Two of the experts will be tasked with working solely with people aged over 55.

The region's police and crime commissioner [PCC], Simon Foster, said funding had been provided by the Ministry of Justice.

It comes as police records between April 2019 and April 2021 show that around 8,600 people, aged 55 or older, reported to West Midlands Police that they’d been the victim of domestic abuse.

Police data reveals around 600 people of that age reported that they’d been the victim of a sexual offence.

An IDVA is a specialist who helps people who have been abused in their own home, whilst an ISVA is someone who supports victims and survivors of sexual violence.

They often deal with women and men who are in particular danger and might need to move out of their home for their own safety and press charges through the courts.

Nicky Brennan is the police and crime commissioner’s [PCC] new victim’s commissioner.

It is her job to improve services for victims of crime in the West Midlands.

Commenting on the announcement, she said: "It is vital we do more for all victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

"The home should be a safe place for everyone to live or work and no individual should have that taken away from them by somebody who chooses to be abusive.

"This expansion of support services will allow us to help far more victims and I’m pleased that we are going to be able to reach out specifically to the over 55s.

"Whilst I’m delighted we’ll soon be able to better support victims of domestic and sexual abuse I do recognise that there is much more that needs to be done."

In his manifesto, ahead of the PCC election on May 6, Simon Foster pledged to do more to protect people from violence and abuse.

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