Sheffield Women’s Aid received a visit from Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit on Thursday, 7 October.
The visit was in response to an invitation to visit the charity to hear about the work they do supporting victims of domestic abuse. Sheffield Women’s Aid provide support and refuge to women who are suffering from domestic or sexual abuse and need to flee their abusers.
The charity provide two refuges, offering safe accommodation to 37 women and their children, with one being an emergency bed.
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Last year during the period of lockdowns and restrictions, many women found themselves at home for long periods of time with men who abused them.
“The two refuges that Women’s Aid provide were a lifeline then and are a lifeline now.
“I was very impressed by the way they give support – material and emotional – not only to the women but also to their children.
“I am determined that in South Yorkshire we must have a supportive police force and supportive bodies like Women’s Aid who will make a difference to women who otherwise find themselves and their children trapped in the most awful situations.”
Hollie Venn, who provided a tour of one of the refuges, met the visitors. Hollie explained how women could self-refer in to the service. In addition to the accommodation, Sheffield Women’s Aid also offer a range of support services including, counselling, financial and housing advice and the opportunity for the work to be creative and learn new skills.
Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “I am proud the Violence Reduction Unit in South Yorkshire can support this essential service to support women and children escape abuse. The staff we met showed great warmth and great determination to offer the best service they can give.”
Sheffield Women’s Aid supports women from 16-years with or without children. It provides safe accommodation for women and their children, who have suffered domestic abuse in all forms, including sexual and psychological abuse, coercive control, and honour based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Hollie Venn, Chief Executive for Sheffield Women’s Aid said: “Sheffield Women’s Aid were delighted to welcome Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Violence Reduction Unit members to the organisation, to share how we support women and children who are affected by domestic abuse.
“Sharing how we support victims of crime, which include children, gave Sheffield Women’s Aid the opportunity to share with the Commissioner how we support his strategy across Sheffield effectively and keep women and children safe.”
If you would like more information on Sheffield Women’s Aid, please see their website – sheffieldwomensaid.org.uk or email email@example.com