Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) has been awarded a £500,000 funding boost through The Big Lottery Fund.
The money will help the charity to fund more Independent Domestic Violence Advisors who are highly trained to help those victims of domestic abuse who are in danger of serious harm or murder.
Last year there were concerns that the service, originally Havant Women’s Refuge, would lose its services across Havant, Waterlooville and East Hampshire as Hampshire County Council launched a re-tendering process.
Luckily Southern Domestic Advice Service was awarded the contract and has now expanded to Fareham and Gosport, currently running four refuges.
Chief Executive, Claire Chatwin, says, “We are very grateful to The Big Lottery for recognising the importance and value of the work we do and providing the funding which will ensure that we can continue to deliver improving and increased services to meet the needs of those that are at risk of serious injury or even death.
“The funding will part-fund an existing project focusing on high-risk victims/survivors of domestic abuse by supporting them from the point of crisis to plan appropriate safety management strategies. The project will expand the services geographically and increase the number of victims of domestic abuse it supports, aiming to put them on the path to long-term safety.”
541 people made contact with Southern Domestic Abuse Service between April and June this year, and it is hoped that with this funding boost, the service can help more victims of domestic abuse.
Mary-Anne Beedle, specialist family solicitor, says, “It is vital that services like SDAS are funded so that victims of domestic abuse are able to access support needed. The fact that 541 people made contact with the service in three months shows how much this service is needed in our community.”