Community Partnership Will Tackle Domestic Violence; NEATH PORT TALBOT: Assembly Puts Up Cash for Scheme to Support Victims Who Often Feel Afraid and Isolated

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Byline: COLIN HUGHES

A PIONEERING scheme aimed at tackling domestic violence will be set up in Neath Port Talbot.

Violence in the home accounted for 56pc of the 1,245 cases of violence reported to police in Neath Port Talbot in 1999-2000 and the county borough has been chosen by the National Assembly to receive special funding to combat the problem.

The money, made available through the Assembly's Community First initiative, will enable a partnership to be set up to commission a range of services to help and support women and men who are suffering because of domestic violence.

The partnership will be led by people with first-hand experience of the problem - those who have been victims themselves - and they will have the backing of local voluntary agencies, the police and the local authority.

The head of planning and support services at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Alison Ward, said yesterday, "It is wonderful news that Neath Port Talbot will be in receipt of this much-needed funding.

"Domestic violence is something that happens privately, behind closed doors, and victims often feel afraid and isolated.

"This is an opportunity for us to bring together people who have been through that trauma to support them in planning a range of services which really meet the needs of those suffering domestic violence and let them know they are not alone."

Superintendent Heather Murray, of South Wales Police, said she, too, was delighted that the local community had been given an opportunity to show everyone in Wales what could be achieved if they all worked together. …