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New Domestic Abuse Helpline to access Community Based Services and Specialist Accommodation in Essex

3 April 2019

A new helpline has been launched to help people in Southend, Essex and Thurrock who are victims of or who have experienced domestic abuse.

COMPASS will go live today, Monday 1 April 2019 and is the new point of access for victims of domestic abuse across Southend, Essex and Thurrock; providing information, advice and guidance and, where appropriate assessment and access to specialist services. Its function is to increase accessibility to ensure victims of domestic abuse get the right support at the right time.

COMPASS is funded by Essex County Council in partnership with the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex to support victims of domestic abuse across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.

It will help women, men and young people aged over 16 to access specialist support including community-based services and specialist accommodation to help them recover and move on from domestic abuse.

COMPASS will be accessible 24hrs a day. Callers can speak with a trained member of staff and there will also be an online form for both public and professionals wishing to make a referral via the website.

COMPASS is delivered by Southend on Sea Domestic Abuse Projects. The telephone number is 0330 333 7 444.  The website is www.essexcompass.org.uk

Community services and specialist accommodation will be delivered by SOS Domestic Abuse Projects, Changing Pathways and Next Chapter. These community-based services are local hubs incorporating specialist accommodation such as refuges, IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors) and outreach work.

Greg Myddelton, Assistant Director for Commissioning at the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is vital that all victims of domestic abuse are able to access support to help them feel safe and to move on from an abusive situation.  This new service uses local specialist organisations to deliver timely, expert help and support to those in need.  If you or someone you know may be experiencing domestic abuse, there is help out there which can be accessed by this new single phone number.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet at Essex Police, and Vice CHair of the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board, said: “The new Compass contact number will help victims of domestic abuse speak to the specialists in their area to get the support they need. Essex Police is committed to breaking the cycle of domestic abuse and working with our partners across the county to protect victims of domestic violence and keep them safe.”

Cllr Dick Madden, Cabinet Member for Children & Families at Essex County Council said: “We are delighted to be offering one point of contact for people to call where they can access good quality information, advice and guidance and where necessary access the right support in a timely way to prevent or minimise the devastating impacts domestic abuse can have on people’s lives.”