Northumbria Police urge victims of domestic violence to join Freedom Programme

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The programme works alongside specialist charities to support people facing domestic abuse.

Northumbria Police are urging those facing domestic abuse to join their Freedom Programme.

Northumbria Police are working closely with a range of specialist charities, in order to provide the service, and victims of domestic abuse can be referred to take part in the life-changing programme.

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South Shields based charity Impact Family Services are one of the many local services involved, who are offering the programme to women looking for support and advice.

The Freedom Programme is a 10-week long programme, which takes place in a small group format on a weekly basis over two hour sessions.

Participants will be given support and advice as well as educational support on healthy and unhealthy relationships, while forming friendships and gaining confidence.

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Domestic abuse lead at Northumbria Police, Detective Chief Inspector Marie Pollock said: “Here at Northumbria Police, we know that domestic abuse is more than just physical.

“Abusers don’t have to raise a hand to you or cause you physical pain before you can ask for help from police and support networks.

“Someone controlling your finances, dictating who you hang around with, destroying your property, making you feel worthless or threatening to hurt you or themselves if you don’t do as they say – all these things are domestic abuse.

“But you don’t have to suffer in silence. And that’s where the Freedom Programme comes in.”

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Participants in the Freedom Programme can be referred by a charity, police or a doctor, however, no formal referral is needed to join.

Northumbria Police

If you feel that you or a loved one may benefit from the programme, you can get in touch with the service. An informal drop in to learn about the programme will take place first, before joining The Freedom Programme group.

The Freedom Programme has already helped many people in the North East who faced domestic abuse in a relationship. One person who used the service said: “I honestly don’t think I would still be alive without this programme and Impact.

“Having this support, being listened to and knowing how much people here care – that has saved my life.”