The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and Catalyst Stockton are working to improve support for ethnically diverse victims of domestic abuse.
In 2022, the OPCC launched Bridging the Gap. The project is run by Catalyst.
Funding was given to a range of voluntary and community organisations. They work with people from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds.
The fund aims to help victims of domestic abuse, who face cultural barriers accessing existing domestic abuse support.
The fund was launched after consultation with groups working with ethnically diverse communities.
Research showed that many people from those communities did not access support for domestic abuse.
Often community members were happy to access support through existing domestic abuse services. However, they wanted to work with agencies, who catered to their cultural or religious needs.
All submissions fitted into one of the following categories:
Education and awareness raising:
- Projects, which help communities to understand what domestic abuse is in the UK. They help them to understand how the criminal justice system works and what support services are available in Cleveland.
- Work, which builds bridges between ethnically diverse communities and Cleveland’s domestic abuse services. Organisations work with criminal justice partners to increase opportunities for reporting domestic abuse. In addition, they increase referrals to victims’ services.
- Ethnically diverse representatives to support domestic abuse victims as an advocate, friend, supporter or champion. This may be by giving one-off support such as accompanying a victim to specialist appointments. Or it may be longer term assistance to aid recovery from abuse.
Specialist information, advice and guidance:
- Giving expert knowledge on specialist topics such as forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation. This may include tailored information for specific groups, such as asylum seekers, migrants or refugees.
In 2022, the OPCC gave out Bridging the Gap grants worth £30,000. They were given to to the following organisations:
- Stockton African Caribbean Association – SACA (awarded £5,000)
- Women Today North East (£4,042)
- Ubuntu (£4,000)
- Afghan Women (£4,750)
- Creative Minds/Purple Rose (£8,000)
- Victory Christian Ministries International – VCMI (£4,208)
Read more about this year’s funding at the following: