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Combatting domestic violence

New support services have been launched in Waltham Forest to help victims of domestic violence and work with perpetrators to put an end to abusive behaviour.

The Council is raising awareness of the new services while the Euro 2016 football tournament takes place, as studies have shown that domestic violence increases during home nation football matches.

There are three main strands to support services available in the borough – the first of which is Waltham Forest’s Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisers (IDSVAs), who offer help and advice about the various support services residents can access.

Providing confidential therapeutic support to victims of domestic violence and their children based around the individual’s specific needs and taking into account their preferences, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, makes up the second strand.

The third strand is covered by a programme of support and therapy for perpetrators of domestic violence to encourage positive behaviour change.

An organisation called Rise has been commissioned by the Council to work with people who have been violent towards their partner by helping them to manage their anger. Each year, Rise helps thousands of people transform their lives and their relationships for the better.

Victims of domestic abuse can get help by reaching out to independent charity Solace Women’s Aid, which runs the IDSVA service on the Council’s behalf.

Solace Women’s Aid, which aims to bring to an end the harm done through domestic and sexual violence to all survivors and in particular women and children, ensures victims in need of help get access to the support services and organisations that best suit their needs and personal circumstances.

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can make a confidential self-referral to Solace Women’s Aid by filling in an online form on the Council’s website, by phoning the confidential number listed below, or by visiting the One Stop Shop in the Peabody Group’s CBHA building in Walthamstow (7 Saxon Close, E17 8LE).

The facility is for victims of domestic violence – male and female – to come and speak with a range of partners including police, legal aid advisers, housing officers and IDSVAs about what they are experiencing. In turn, they will receive help and advice about the support services they can access.

Open every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm, the private and confidential One Stop Shop drop-in centre also offers health advice where required.

Cllr Liaquat Ali MBE JP, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, said: “Our aim in Waltham Forest is to ensure that support exists for anyone experiencing domestic violence – no matter their religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

“This offer extends to perpetrators of abuse, because it’s vital that attempts are made to educate those responsible and help permanently change their behaviour.

“We have been clear for a long time now that domestic violence and abuse in any form will not be condoned in our borough, and would urge anyone affected by it to seek out help.”

Since 2014, Waltham Forest has had White Ribbon status – accreditation that formally recognises the work carried out by the Council and local partners, including Waltham Forest Police and Leyton Orient Football Club, to raise awareness about domestic violence and encourage members of the community to take a stand against it.

To contact Solace Women’s Aid, email, phone 07340 683382 or visit To contact Rise, phone 07535 651784 or visit

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