Central Bedfordshire Council is running a domestic abuse survey Image: LoloStock AdobeStock_55703389

Following the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, Bedford Borough Council has published its ‘Strategy to Address and Reduce Domestic Abuse 2021-2026’ and wants to know what you think.

The Strategy sets out a definition of domestic abuse, and explains what abusive behaviours are. These go beyond physical violence and sexual abuse, to threats, controlling behaviours, being abused financially, and psychological or emotional abuse.

The aim set out in this Strategy is ‘to reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse, and ensure that where domestic abuse takes place, all those affected get the right support, quickly.’

The Strategy sets out five key areas of priority locally:

  1. The provision of services in safe accommodation
  2. Raising awareness of domestic abuse
  3. The provision of services in the community
  4. Justice, recovery and ongoing protection
  5. Early education and intervention

It also sets out how the Council and its partners plan to address these different areas over the five year plan period.

Cllr James Valentine, portfolio holder with responsibility for domestic abuse, said:

“This Strategy has been written to reflect what we have learnt during a period of analysis, looking at gaps in the service provided for those experiencing and survivors of domestic abuse.

“Domestic abuse can take so many different forms, and it’s really important that we provide both intervention and education to stop it in its tracks, and help for those who are living or have lived through it.

“This is a really important issue and we have to get it right. Please give us your thoughts on our Strategy.”

This consultation is now open, and you can send your ideas, comments or expressions of interest in the following ways:

Website: www.bedford.gov.uk/DASConsultation

Email: DASupport@bedford.gov.uk

Write to: Consulting Bedford, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP.

Hard copies will also be available in Bedford Borough libraries. Comments should be received by 23 November 2021 and may be published.