ALMOST £1 million has been set aside to protect victims of domestic abuse and stalking in Gloucestershire. 

The funding, which has been secured from the Government by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), will be used for a range of initiatives, including further police training and a hardship fund for victims.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gloucestershire, Chris Nelson, said the funding is "hugely important" in tackling violence against women and girls.

More than three quarters of a million will come from the Home Office during the next two years, while the remainder will be made up in match funding over the same period.

There will be £360,000 available this financial  year, along with £90,000 match funding from the OPCC, followed by £405,000 and £103,000 in match funding in 2024/25.

It will be used for initiatives such as additional training for police personnel and health professionals; a hardship fund for victims; the employment of an abuse case worker, administrator, advisor and inspector; and the expansion of a county-wide awareness programme.

PCC Nelson commented: “I have always made tackling men’s violence against women and girls a priority. We’ve had success with gaining money through the Safer Streets Fund, and this extra money will also be put to good use to tackle the problem.

“It will give domestic abuse training to front line health professionals – social workers, health care professionals, midwives, teachers and the like.

"They come into contact with many women and it will teach these professionals to spot the early signs of domestic abuse. Particularly difficult things to identify, like coercive behaviour.

“Many domestic abusers are repeat offenders with 83% of male offenders repeating their offences within a 6-month period. This makes intervening to stop their pattern of behaviour paramount to protect victim.

"We have programmes to deal with them and try and change their behaviour.

“Most women don’t report misogynistic-type behaviour for a variety of reasons. We have to be more alert to the problem and try and encourage women to talk about it."