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Woman’s Trust welcomes appointment of new Domestic Abuse Commissioner

Commenting on the Government’s announcement of its new Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Woman’s Trust CEO Heidi Riedel, said: “It is great to see Nicole Jacobs in this role. Through her background and longevity in the sector she has a deep understanding of the major issues that survivors face – and, more importantly, how domestic abuse impacts on many areas of survivors’ lives.

“Domestic abuse is the leading cause of depression among women here in the UK. It is also a major cause of substance misuse, anxiety, social isolation and many survivors also attempt, or contemplate, suicide. If these issues remain untreated then they can continue to affect survivors lives, family lives, and relationships for years; even after an abusive relationship has ended.

“Until now, Government policy and funding has, understandably, focused on the immediate support that survivors need, in terms of refuges and financial support. More recently, there has been increasing awareness around the non-violent, emotional and psychological forms of abuse. And we sincerely hope that the Government fulfils its promise to include the Domestic Abuse Bill in the next Queen’s Speech.

“But it doesn’t go far enough. There is no national strategy for supporting the mental health of survivors, or funding; yet we see more and more need for our services every year. It’s my hope that with Ms Jacobs now in post the Government will start to connect the dots between domestic abuse and mental health, as well as other areas of support that survivors so desperately need.”