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Leeway Awarded Big Lottery Funding To Support Rural Communities

19 MayYoung stressed woman

Between October 2014 and September 2015, 19,985 calls were made to Norfolk police in relation to domestic abuse - an average of 50 calls every day. With 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men likely to experience some form of abuse during their lifetime, it is an issue which can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, age, religion, sexuality, race, disability or social group.

The severity of the issue is supported by the Crime Survey of England and Wales, which revealed that 2 women are killed each week by a current or former partner. The problem is particularly serious in rural communities, where those experiencing abuse are often unable to access the services and support available to those living in larger towns and cities. During 2014-15, Leeway was able to directly support 144 women and girls in the west of the county who were at risk of further harm or homicide, though a further 236 were only able to receive phone advice.

We are therefore delighted to have been awarded £606,315 funding from Big Lottery to help us support thousands of women, teenagers and young girls living with domestic abuse in some of Norfolk’s most rural communities. Last month we took over the management of two new refuges in Breckland and West Norfolk coastal area – bringing our total number of refuges in the county to five. We will be using the funding to recruit three new case workers who, from their base in our new refuges, will go out into rural towns and communities to provide support to those believed to be at standard / medium risk of further harm or homicide. 

Our team will be providing support to those perceived to be at risk by:

  • Offering practical and emotional advice and support and signposting them to housing options, finance and welfare benefits, civil law and additional support services
  • Enabling them to increase their confidence and to take back control of their lives through Leeway’s ‘Power to Change Programme’
  • Providing information and training sessions to increase awareness of the signs of domestic abuse which range from experiencing coercive and controlling behaviour to physical and sexual abuse.

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said “we are delighted to secure this Big Lottery investment, which will enable us to respond to the varying levels of support required by women and girls living with or leaving domestic abuse – particularly in our more isolated rural communities. The new team will be able to work with hundreds more women and girls to ensure their long term safety and well-being, as well as to empower them to make positive changes to their lives for the benefit of themselves and their family” 

The Crime and Police Commissioner for Norfolk, Lorne Green, added: "I am delighted about this excellent news. Domestic violence is unacceptable. I pay tribute to Leeway and other such organisations which provide invaluable support to those recovering from abuse."

By working in collaboration with established partners, including Norfolk Constabulary, local councils, housing associations and the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC), we believe this new funding will help us to provide flexible support to those in the most isolated areas of the county. 

If you or someone you know are experiencing abuse, do not hesitate to contact our free, 24 hour helpline on 

0300 561 0077 for confidential help and advice. 

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