“I will not be free until I know every woman is free” – Yasmin Khan

Family Solicitors. Asia Majid and Parminder Kumari, with Yasmin Khan and Mark Burns-Williamson.

By ANISAH ARIF

Staying Put’s and the Domestic Violent Services celebrate another year of their successful hard work by holding an Annual Review on Friday.

The review, which took place in Bradford’s Mercure Hotel, displayed the success of their hard work over the past year as well as the new affordable legal services that are going to be provided soon to the public.

It was revealed in 2017, West Yorkshire Police dealt with six incidents of domestic abuse every hour. A staggering 120,000 women in Yorkshire and Humber suffered domestic abuse. In West Yorkshire there were over 47, 000 incidents of domestic abuse and more than 15,000 in Bradford alone.

Staying Put is a domestic violence/abuse charity based in the North of England working across Yorkshire and the Humber. It aims to create the safety of all people who experience domestic abuse by providing a range of services challenging perpetrators, supporting people, working in partnership, influencing policy and campaigning for change.

Yasmin Khan, Director of Staying Put said:  “Staying Put and Domestic Violent services remains at the heart of the solution for many victims of domestic abuse and we will continue to be pro active in raising their profile with this terrible crime. I believe we truly transform the lives of everybody that comes through our doors.

“This was an exciting year for us. We have provided services across the Bradford district. From 2017, we have extended our geographical profile across west Yorkshire and south Yorkshire.

“I will not be free until I know every woman is free”. – Yasmin Khan

The key priority changes that Staying Put and DVS are going to explore involve developing and implementing affordable legal services at Staying Put across West Yorkshire, and to design evidence based services, so that victims/survivors and their families are empowered to take control of their lives and to live independently and safely within the community.

Mark Burns-Williamson, Head of Police Commissioner for West Yorkshire announced new legal services by the West Yorkshire Police aimed to help vulnerable victims. The affordable offer legal advice to all victims and survivors of domestic abuse who are not eligible for legal aid.

The scheme has been funded by West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and was officially launched at the Staying Put & DVS Annual Review on Friday.

He said: “I am really pleased to be able to support this project, which will help to protect and support some of our most vulnerable residents, providing legal assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it during very difficult and stressful times.

“We have seen cuts through the legal system, like court closures across the West Yorkshire so we are devising an action plan to try and improve the outcomes. It can’t be right that victims, are waiting months on end for cases to be brought to court and taken to system. So I’m working very hard with court services and CPS to look at what more needs to be done that inevitably, a lot of it does come down  to resources and recruitment of personnel into some key roles within the court service”.

Once the new service is up and running, it is expected to support around 150 people in the first six months across West Yorkshire. After a year it is hoped the service will become a self-funding sustainable social enterprise.

A total number of 3623 referrals were received- including the helpline- to Staying Put and DVS last year, and 592 of them were classed as high-risk cases.

The national helpline for Staying Put is open Monday to Friday, 0808 2800999.

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