New contract to continue work tackling domestic abuse in Sefton

01 February 2024 3 min read

At their meeting today, Sefton Council cabinet agreed the continuation of a service to support the victims of domestic abuse and their families, through a long-term contract.

Support will be continued

Due to start in September and initially last for three years at least, the service will see support provided to victims within their own communities continued. A range of recovery programmes will be provided for individuals, families and groups.

Sefton’s Borough-wide Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0151 394 1400 for victims, survivors, concerned friends and family and professionals will also stay in place. And there will be an ongoing programme of therapeutic counselling aimed at individuals or families to aid their long-term recovery.

Individuals and families identified at risk of domestic abuse are already supported through a service provided by local charity SWACA (Sefton Women and Children’s Aid).

The organisation running the new, three-year contract will build on the strong links established with organisations in Sefton currently providing domestic abuse support. This includes the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, voluntary, community and social enterprise providers and partner agencies.

Raise the profile

As well as supporting victims, the service will continue working to raise the profile of domestic abuse and prevent it taking place and will provide training about the issue  for the Council and its partners.

Domestic Abuse is still a significant problem in Sefton. Since April 2023, the Council has received 2,600 contacts where DA is listed as the prime concern, more than three times the level of the next issue.

Unacceptable at any time

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Domestic abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional or sexual, is unacceptable at any time, as is the coercive control that can go with it. And in Sefton, it is unfortunately still a sizeable problem and cause for concern.

“By commissioning the long-term future of this service, we will be able to ensure the specialist support and that the victims of this abuse and their families need to survive and recover from it remains in place. And we will be able to provide that support within people’s own communities in the way that they want to access it.”

The service will be guided by the priorities outlined in the action plan that accompanies Sefton Council’s Domestic & Sexual Abuse Strategy. Details of the plan as well as advice for people experiencing domestic abuse or are concerned it is taking place, can be found at

Being able to speak out

Cllr Hardy added: “At the same time as helping people already experiencing it, this service enables us to raise the profile and awareness of domestic abuse.

“People knowing the signs of domestic abuse and being able to speak out about it and raise concerns is a vital way of tackling the problem.

Frighteningly controlling

She continued: “Abusers can be frighteningly controlling, which makes it very difficult to leave an abusive relationship.

“It’s essential that friends and family support someone they suspect is being abused and know the tell-tale signs to look out for such as nervousness talking openly when their abuser is around a high incidence of sickness absence from work or making excuses for their abuser’s unreasonable behaviour.”

 “In an emergency, people should always dial 999 but if they want to find out how they can support someone they suspect is being abused, they should visit  or call 0151 394 1400.”

If you are affected by domestic abuse or know somebody who is or might be, you can use this link to find out about the support available in Sefton.

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