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Domestic abusers cost us £20m a year

Domestic abuse is costing Solihull more than £20 million a year, according to latest figures.

Domestic abuse is costing Solihull more than £20 million a year, according to latest figures.

The numbers of battered men and women reporting violence also rocketed by 37 per cent in 2013/14.

The details emerged after a charity helping domestic abuse victims revealed it had been forced to close due to cash shortages.

The Make a Better Life Trust Solihull announced its closure last month.

Solihull Council estimated that more than 4,000 women in the borough suffered from domestic violence every year, putting a £20 million strain on resources.

Meriden Tory MP Caroline Spelman said she was “deeply disappointed” the Trust, which was partially funded by the council, had closed.

“The need is still there, the problem has not gone away,” the MP said.

“The volunteers have worked incredibly hard over the years but we were just unable to match the extra funding that was needed, despite our best efforts.

“I think some people still struggle to accept and acknowledge that domestic violence is still a problem. There are no ward boundaries, anyone can be a victim.”

Ms Spelman said she believed the increase in domestic abuse cases was most likely due to an increase in reports of the crime.

“There has been investment in outreach support services and I think it is likely this has lead to an increase in victims reporting the crime, which is a good thing,” she said.

“Some victims leave it a long time before they report the crime and it is important to let them know there is help and support for them.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need support, you can contact Women’s Aid Birmingham and Solihull by calling 0121 685 8687.

 

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