Staffordshire Commissioner visit to New Era domestic abuse services

Over £16m invested in services to address domestic abuse

Over £16 million has been invested over a five-year period between October 2018 and September 2023 into services to address domestic abuse (DA), under a partnership approach led by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office in conjunction with Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

New Era was established in October 2018 to offer help to all those affected by DA across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, providing free, confidential support for adult and child victims, perpetrators and their families, as well as businesses, communities and professionals.

Provided by Victim Support, the New Era victim service offered practical and emotional support, while the New Era perpetrator service, provided by the National Probation Service, supported anyone wanting to change their abusive behaviour.

Aiming to end relationship abuse, New Era spans prevention and early intervention activity as well as targeted and acute support. The service ensures a consistent approach to across the whole region when people need specialist support.

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: Demand for these critical services continues to increase year on year, both in Staffordshire and nationally, as more and more victims are identified and seek support.

“It is vital that all victims of domestic abuse and their families are able to access the effective, targeted support they need when they need it, to help them recover from the impact of these crimes.”

Over the five-year period (1 October 2018 to 30 September 2023):

  • The victim service supported 23,206 people, including 19,424 adults and 3,782 children. In 2018, 3,136 people were supported, compared to 6,016 in 2023 – an increase of 95%
  • The perpetrator service supported 590 people to change their abusive behaviours through voluntary programmes and out-of-court disposals
  • Over 400 Workplace Champions were trained to recognise the signs of DA and signpost people to support services
  • Almost 160 companies made a commitment to support all those affected by DA in their workplace, with 133 adopting a DA Pledge and 139 having a DA Policy

 DA is a clear priority for partners across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and the pan-area DA Commissioning and Development Board manages strategic governance for this key area of work, and is responsible for the delivery of the area’s multi-agency DA Strategy.

Melina Hancox, Area Manager at New Era, said: “We’re extremely proud of this service – over the last five years we have expanded to reach more victim-survivors of domestic abuse and offer specialist support to children and young people, older people, men, those with disabilities and those from LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian minority communities. For anyone experiencing abuse, please don’t suffer in silence – search for ‘New Era’ for information about how to get in touch.”

Councillor David Williams, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Resilience at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “Domestic abuse is an awful crime that has a significant impact on both the victim and the wider family. Over the past five years, by working closely with our partners, we have been able to provide more dedicated support to those that need it and to help reduce the incidents of domestic abuse locally.”

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council, said: “With increased demand for these services over the last five years, we recognise how important it is to continue to work in this successful partnership to tackle domestic abuse across Staffordshire.

“We remain committed to supporting victims and their families as well as holding perpetrators to account and, through this work, we can help reduce the number of incidents of this wicked crime.”

New Era is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. New Era victim services is available by calling 0300 303 3778, or via the website and Live Chat facility The confidential helpline for perpetrators is available on 0300 373 5772 during normal office hours.

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