The Big Interview: ‘Little support left in town for the victims of domestic violence’ says Councillor Charmaine Morgan

Charmaine Morgan - Labour
Charmaine Morgan - Labour

Victims of domestic violence in Grantham are not receiving enough support in their hometown, a district and county councillor warns.

Coun Charmaine Morgan is pushing for domestic violence to become a greater priority for authorities such as the police and the county council after meeting a constituent in Grantham who struggled for support in her time of crises.

Coun Morgan said: “Initially she was referred to Women’s Aid but when we contacted them she was told to go to Lincoln but Lincoln, as is often the case, was full as it has to meet the needs of the city.

“She was told she would have to get to Lincoln and that just is not acceptable for someone in such a vulnerable position.

“The next nearest place was Nottingham or Leicester. But this woman had nothing - no money because her husband had her access to money so she had no means to get there.

“We managed to get her support through emergency housing officers at SKDC. But with complex cases a whole area of support is needed, including Legal Aid, that they need.

“That package of support is not there in Grantham.”

Coun Morgan accepts that in some cases it is right and proper that a victim of domestic violence is offered refuge away from her hometown to reduce the risk of further attacks or pressure but she has found vulnerable women are often expected to make their own way.

She said: “Sometimes it is helpful to have that distance when it comes to violence but then there is no support to help them get there.

“To have no support to get them to a safe refuge is just shameful.

“We have domestic violence related deaths every year in Lincolnshire so this is a serious issue.”

Lincolnshire Police Chief Inspector Mark Housley outlined his policing priorities to district councillors last week and Coun Morgan was heartened to hear domestic violence was one of them. However, she expects such a pledge to backed up with funding and support.

Coun Morgan said: “Ch Insp Housley did a report for us on his policing priorities and domestic violence was one of them.

“The resources to support people in Grantham are gone, leaving people without the means to access the support they need. But Ch Insp Housley said it was a concern and he will look into it.

“The general feeling, I’m glad to say, was I had their backing and they will be pushing forward with domestic violence as a priority. But it has to be properly supported and funded.”