Emergency Support Bags made available for those fleeing Domestic Abuse

The 'grab bag' contents

Emergency support bags, filled with essentials to help those fleeing Domestic Abuse, have been funded by the Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust (BPPT) thanks to a £14,000 grant from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The MoJ awarded the charity £14,370 in response to the national rise in cases of Domestic Abuse.

The fund will be used to create emergency support ‘grab bags’ which will include sim cards to make calls, clothing, food vouchers and a wifi-enabled tablet to access 24hr support from partner organisations.

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Trustee of the BPPT, Kathryn Holloway, said: “My staff have worked tirelessly to win every available grant to support those who have had the terrible experience during the pandemic of having to flee their homes due to violence.

“They’ve listened to victims themselves to learn what they most need in this emergency and that’s why these emergency support bags are stocked as they are.

“I hope it’s a small reminder to people who are in such an extreme position that we care about them and will help them get the support they need.”

The Trust is working closely with Bedfordshire Police and Domestic Abuse service providers across the county to identify where these additional provisions would be most useful.

Safety is a priority for all partners serving in this arena so an individual and family can be given support to have the best possible opportunity to recover from the trauma they have endured.

Jenny Bull, Domestic Abuse Project Manager for Victim Support Bedfordshire, said: “To escape Domestic Abuse during lockdown, a victim frequently has to leave everything behind; taking their one chance to leave safely, when that chance presents itself.

“These bags can help to make that decision to escape a little easier, at a time when every decision can be edged with anxiety, fear and danger for the individual and their children.”

Domestic Abuse

The Emergency Support Bags will be allocated by Commissioner Holloway’s specialist call centre service for victims of crime, Signpost, through Bedfordshire Police or through Domestic Abuse service providers and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

If you have been affected by Domestic Abuse, Signpost offers free and confidential support to victims of any crime or those affected by a crime in Bedfordshire, whether or not it has been reported to police and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.

Signpost’s Victim Care Coordinators can be contacted on freephone 0800 0282 887 or by visiting www.signpostforbedfordshire.com for further information.

In an emergency, a victim of Domestic Violence should always call 999 for assistance.

To report Domestic Abuse, call police on 101, or visit a participating pharmacy and ask for “ANI” which is a codeword now recognised as a cry for help by trained pharmacist staff.

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