Victims of domestic violence can turn to Beverley project
DOMESTIC violence victims in the East Riding will soon have somewhere to turn.
Police take 700 calls a month about people being attacked by their partners across East Yorkshire.
But many on the front line of the fight say that is just the tip of the iceberg.
This Friday, the launch of the Break Away Project at Cherry Tree Community Association in Beverley will mean women and men will be able to access help even if they do not want to make an official police complaint.
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Project manager Amanda Roberts said: "It will provide advice and support for the community.
"If someone comes in who is in crisis we'll be able to refer them to the right agency.
"It's about providing help, support and advice to people.
"There is definitely a need for this service and it will be the only service of its kind in the area that is open to both men and women."
To prepare for the launch of the project, Ms Roberts had a desk in Beverley Library and a questionnaire asking people about their experiences of domestic violence.
She said: "The results were quite surprising, there is definitely a problem here."
Ms Roberts's passion for the role comes from having been a victim of domestic violence herself.
She lived in Scotland at the time and had to move to the south of England and change her name.
She said: "I lived in a violent relationship but I managed to escape."
After fleeing Scotland with the aid of the charity Women's Aid, she worked for the Refuge charity in East Sussex.
She said: "I was an online Refuge worker, working in four refuges in the area. It made me see the difference you can make to people."
The Break Away Project will provide a confidential advice line on Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm and an opportunity for men and women to come to a drop-in at the centre on Mondays from 1pm to 3pm.
The service aims to cover the whole of the East Riding.
Between January and May this year, 1,176 reports of domestic violence were made to police in the East Riding, compared with 2,410 in Hull. Together, they resulted in 690 arrests.
Word-of-mouth evidence suggests the problem may be growing. But official figures have it declining.
Last year, there were 10,943 reports of domestic violence in Hull and the East Riding, compared with 9,657 in 2010. About 51 per cent of cases reported were resolved, meaning East Yorkshire has one of the best prosecution rates in the country for domestic violence.
The Break Away Project is being launched on Friday at 2pm by the Mayor of Beverley Margaret Pinder. The crisis line number, for Thursday evenings, is 01482 333783.