Minister launches new help for domestic abuse victims

COMMUNITY Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham has launched new services to help victims of domestic abuse in the Borders.

The MSP was at Eildon Mill, Tweedbank for the start of the new £1.23million multi-agency Pathway Project.

She said: “This important and innovative project will provide vital support for both adults and children experiencing domestic abuse. We have always been clear that there is no place for domestic abuse in Scotland, and tackling it is a top priority for the Scottish Government.”

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) officials say the aim of the project is to increase the level of specialist support to victims and their children and ensure that services work together for the safety and wellbeing of those families.

Three new avenues of help have been developed: the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Support (DAAS) service, the Children 1st Domestic Abuse service and the Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery (CEDAR) group work programme.

DAAS, based at SBC HQ, opened in October this year to support victims for up to three months and work to reduce risk, increase safety, agree safety plans with victims and provide support through any court proceedings.

Based in Selkirk, the Children 1st Domestic Abuse service, provides longer-term, practical and emotional support.

An SBC spokesperson said: “The service works with victims at lower risk who need longer term support to recover. This might include help with housing, legal matters, welfare and benefits, as well as providing emotional support in the long term.”

CEDAR will set up groups across the region for mums and children to help them rebuild their relationships and plan for the future, said the spokesperson, adding: “The groups will be 12 weeks in length and referrals can come from various sources including social work, education, family support, health visitors and the voluntary sector.”

SBC executive member for community safety, Councillor Donald Moffat welcomed the new services: “The Pathway Project has been made possible by the efforts of a range of partner agencies – Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders, Lothian and Borders Police and local housing providers. By working together and having services that can be accessed easily by victims, the Pathway Project will make a real difference for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse in the Borders.”

The money for the new support came from the Scottish Government, BIG Lottery and the partners in the project.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the DAAS service for free, confidential advice and information on 01835 825024 or on