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New domestic and sexual violence service for city, county and Rutland

Published on 01 December 2015

PEOPLE experiencing domestic or sexual violence across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland  can now seek help from a unified service by calling one new number.

From Tuesday December 1st people will be able to call 0808 802 0028 to seek help and advice, wherever they live in the region.

Previously each local authority commissioned their own services, which each had a different phone number. Now Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Rutland County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have joined forces to commission services through an organisation known as United Against Violence and Abuse (UAVA).

UAVA is made up of three local, experienced domestic and sexual violence services - Women’s Aid Leicestershire, FreeVa and Living Without Abuse.

Stephanie McBurney, the city council’s domestic violence co-ordinator who led on the commissioning of the new services for the local partnership said: “Until now the services available to victims of domestic and sexual violence varied widely depending on where they lived.

“By commissioning a joint service, we aim to make it much less complicated for people to get the help they need."

Helpline numbers previously advertised will be diverted to the new number for several weeks to ensure that calls aren’t missed while promotion of the new number takes place.

Victims should still call 101, or in an emergency 999, to report domestic or sexual violence to Leicestershire Police.

The police will be working closely with UAVA to make sure that victims receive the help and support they need.

The announcement of the new number follows the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

On average two women die every year in Leicester and Leicestershire as a result of domestic violence. Nationally this figure is two every week.

Last November the councils and Leicestershire Police joined forces to launch their ‘How Many Times’ campaign, which revealed that on average women will experience 36 incidents of abuse before seeking help.

The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the help that is available, and to encourage people to come forward to report abuse.

More details on the help that is available can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/howmanytimes, or people can call 0808 802 0028.

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