The charity which provides help to residents whose lives are blighted by domestic abuse has been recommissioned by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for a further two years.
The Dash Charity provides advice and support services to residents who have experienced domestic abuse, on behalf of the council.
The charity, whose acronym spells out Domestic Abuse Stops Here, has been commissioned to operate a helpdesk service, intensive support for those affected by an abusive relationship, and outreach assistance.
In addition to helping adults, the charity is commissioned to provide services which support children and young people who have witnessed abuse.
The charity also raises awareness of what domestic abuse is and how to seek help.
Domestic abuse is more than physical violence and includes controlling and coercive behaviour, financial, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as threatening behaviour.
Anyone can suffer from domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality, or background. It can take various forms and its impacts are serious and lasting, both to the target of the abuse and any children who witness it.
In the Royal Borough during 2021/22 there were on average seven domestic abuse related incidents reported to Thames Valley Police every day, a total of 2,585 incidents. Last year, The Dash Charity received more than 1,000 referrals for help with domestic abuse within the Royal Borough, and 1 in 5 referrals involved supporting children and young people.
Councillor Stuart Carroll, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education, Health, Mental Health, & Transformation, said: “We work closely with partners, including The Dash Charity and police, to provide help for residents, and their families, who suffer domestic abuse to find safety.
“We continue to support the vital work of our partners, including the fantastic work of The Dash Charity which tackles domestic abuse in all its forms and the great work around prevention and early intervention.”
“If you want information or to talk about the situation you are in, contact The Dash Charity.”
Nicola Miller, Chief Executive of The Dash Charity, said: “We are proud to be partnering with the Royal Borough for another two years.
“The Dash Charity’s locally embedded support is well-known and well-loved in the community, and this enables our team to collaborate meaningfully with other agencies, reduce risk and increase positive outcomes for victims of domestic abuse and their families.”
The new commissioning contract was awarded after a tendering process. It includes a cost-of-living uplift and recognises a new statutory duty to provide safe accommodation where a household has become homeless due to domestic abuse.
The Dash Charity helpdesk service – 01753 549865 – is open Monday to Wednesday from 9.30am until 2.30pm, Thursday- Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm. If you need help outside these hours, you can leave a message if it’s safe to do so or send a message by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will call you back as soon as they can, the next working day.
If you need emergency help, please call 999. You can also speak to the police for non-emergency assistance on 101.
For 24-hour advice, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000247.