Harbour provides a full service

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FOR 40 years, Harbour has worked to help victims of domestic abuse.

It is active across Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, County Durham, North Tyneside, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland.

Harbour is a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Trustees.

Harbour chief executive Lesley Gibson said: “The organisation is an Investor in People, believing strongly in the value of investing in the training and continuous development of its people. We were also listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 Places to work in the Public/Third Sector for the past two years.”

Its aim is to help all the family but the priority is to safeguard the welfare of children and victims, then to work on their esteem and confidence to enable them to make a positive contribution within the community.

Its services are comprehensive.

l Its Children & Young People’s team works with youngsters who are affected by domestic abuse.

Lesley said: “The service is therapeutic, to enable children and young people to have their experiences acknowledged and help them to understand that they are not to blame. “It also raises awareness and helps children and young people to keep safe, feel less isolated and more confident.”

Children are given one-to-one help as well as group programmes which cover issues such as expressing feelings, worries and concerns, safety planning, self esteem, blame, and anger management.

“Within schools, we deliver safe relationship sessions to help young people to understand and recognise a healthy, respectful relationship. This will soon be rolled out for all year 10 students across Hartlepool,” Lesley added.

l Harbour offers accommodation to women and any children who are leaving an abusive relationship.

Its refuge in Hartlepool has seven self contained units with one or two bedrooms.

Harbour runs four other refuges in the North East. Lesley said: “The refuge in Hartlepool offers open access, 24-hour cover and a range of support and guidance services for women and children.

“Those leaving the refuge are supported to establish a new home and re-integrate themselves into the community. Bespoke services are provided to children and young people resident within the refuges, in conjunction with Children’s Services as applicable.”

l Harbour also has an outreach service to help adult victims of domestic abuse in Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Durham, Stockton and North Tyneside.

Lesley said: “Our focus is on increasing the safety and welfare of clients and any children, empowering them to make positive changes in their lives and ultimately to live independently.”

l And Harbour also offers an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor service in Hartlepool and Stockton which works alongside agencies in the criminal justice system to support victims, especially those seen as high risk.