Greater support to victims of abuse

Lisburn based Damask Community Outreach has been awarded funding from the Lisburn & Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to provide additional support and advice from staff trained to help victims of domestic abuse.

The Launch of Damask Advice Service Domestic Abuse Project with, from left to right, Councillor Alex Swan, Chairman of the Lisburn Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Jim Irwin Manager of the Damask Advice Service, Dr Lindsay Easson, Chairman of Damask Community Outreach and Sergeant Gary King of the PSNI

Funding for this project also comes from the Halifax Foundation. The Damask Advice Service will now be available three full days per week to take telephone helpline calls. In addition, Damask will be able to provide a number of free professional counselling sessions to those needing further help to overcome the trauma resulting from domestic abuse.

Dr Lindsay Easson, Chairman of Damask Community Outreach said: “The Damask Advice Service is well known in the Lisburn area for providing valuable support to those in difficulties related to benefits, housing, unemployment, disability or family problems. As a result of the COVID restrictions there has been an increased incidence of domestic abuse, and Damask Community Outreach is therefore grateful to the PCSP, and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, for awarding this grant which will enhance our services over the next six months.

“Damask will be working closely with the PSNI in Lisburn and Castlereagh and hopes to make the community more aware of the widespread nature of this problem and encourage victims of abuse, who may be reluctant to come forward, to pick up the phone and talk confidentially to our experienced staff.”

Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP Chairman, Councillor Alex Swan commented, “Domestic abuse continues to concern the partnership as a crime that is under reported. The partnership provides financial support to a number of other organisations addressing domestic abuse and are delighted to provide support to Damask under the project support project to provide an extension of their counselling service in addressing domestic abuse. I would encourage any victims suffering this abuse to avail of this service.”

PSNI District Commander for Lisburn & Castlereagh, Superintendent Julie Mullan commented, “Domestic related incidents and crimes are a priority for police and we welcome this initiative from Damask and thank the PCSP for their support. This service will provide additional support to some of our most vulnerable in society and complement the existing work we are already doing with key partners.”

Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can contact police on the non-emergency 101, or in an emergency call 999.

The Damask Advice Telephone Helpline is open from 9am to 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and can be contacted on 07784 955698.