Don’t be afraid to speak up

Partner organisations working in Hartlepool have launched a campaign aimed at stemming domestic violence. Pictured, from left, are: Inspector Mal Suggitt from Cleveland Police, Clare Clark, from the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, John Robinson, who is head of family support for Hartlepool Borough Council, Lesley Gibson, chief executive of Harbour, and  Libby Griffiths, from Housing Hartlepool.
Partner organisations working in Hartlepool have launched a campaign aimed at stemming domestic violence. Pictured, from left, are: Inspector Mal Suggitt from Cleveland Police, Clare Clark, from the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, John Robinson, who is head of family support for Hartlepool Borough Council, Lesley Gibson, chief executive of Harbour, and Libby Griffiths, from Housing Hartlepool.
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HARTLEPOOL is a town with one of the strongest networks for support for victims of domestic violence – and that’s why people shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.

The message came from Libby Griffiths, the tenancy relations and enforcement manager with Housing Hartlepool, which is one of five partnerships tackling the problem with a common aim.

Each one of the partners has issued the same message - we’re here to help.

Hartlepool Housing has joined forces with Hartlepool Police, Harbour Support Services, Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood service, and the council’s child and adult services section to tackle the problem.

Libby said: “We may come from a different angle but the emphasis is on partnership and information sharing. That is quite unique and very strong in Hartlepool.

“Job satisfaction for me is making sure someone is safe. Someone always gets hurt in these situations after a relationship breaks down.

“It is brilliant when they are strong enough to say ‘I am going’ but I have never seen people completely move on, because of the children. It doesn’t go away completely.”

“I am not precious about which organisation people phone, as long as they phone someone.”

Libby admitted that domestic violence was a “large problem” which did affect its tenants, but she added: “We want to reassure victims that there are a number of agencies out there who can help them.”

Housing Hartlepool offers services such as advice, direct support, and it can take out anti-social behaviour orders.

She said tenants wanting support and advice could phone (01429) 525252 and ask to speak to the tenancy relations and enforcement team. People will be on call over Christmas to offer help.