In advance of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March 2016 the Minister for Women and Equalities congratulated Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson for funding independent domestic abuse advisors (IDVAs) in Swindon’s Great Western Hospital and some GP surgeries in the town.
Nicky Morgan, who is also Education Secretary, was speaking during a visit to Swindon Women’s Aid on 4 March where she met Mr Macpherson, PCC for Wiltshire and Swindon, Olwen Kelly, the centre’s director, and members of staff.
She said: “I’ve had a fascinating chat with Olwen and a tour of the facilities here at the Swindon women’s refuge. As a Government, we are very focused on prevention, but I believe that the investment Angus has made as the local PCC for the IDVA posts based at the local hospital and within a number of GP surgeries is absolutely crucial to ensuring we reach those victims of domestic abuse who urgently need help.”
Ms Kelly said: “We’ve had some really great feedback about the health IDVAs which are funded by the PCC. We have an IDVA located in the A&E department as well as the maternity department at the Great Western Hospital, which has been really beneficial.
“We were finding that some victims of domestic abuse were going in to hospital with injuries which were treated very well, but nobody was there to ask them the question about how they came about.
“Often, a victim may not want to disclose information to a nurse or a police officer, but they will talk to an IDVA. It is important to avoid silo working. A joined-up approach which includes health is very effective.”
Mr Macpherson commented: “Protecting victims of domestic abuse by bringing police, local authorities, health professionals and domestic abuse support services together to share information, identify risks and co-ordinate responses is one of my priorities.
“Therefore, I’m very proud to be funding the IDVAs within Great Western Hospital and GP surgeries. I’m pleased to be able to fund this very supportive, worthwhile initiative which we are very lucky to have.
“Nicky Morgan’s visit, coming in the run-up to International Women’s Day, was very timely. The theme of the day this year is a pledge for parity. It reminds us of the need to respect and value women.”