A CHARITY has been set up to ensure victims of domestic abuse across County Durham all have access to the same help and support.

Durham County Council has commissioned a county-wide service to provide assistance to people across the county who are affected by verbal, physical or emotional abuse at home.

The service replaces a number of domestic abuse support services ran by various organisations each covering different areas of the county.

Coun Lucy Hovvels, cabinet member for safer and healthier communities, said: “The new service will enable us to ensure people across County Durham receive the same type of support no matter where they live.

“Thousands of families and individuals in the county experience the debilitating effects of abuse every day.

“It is vitally important that we are able to offer them any help we can.”

The new service will be provided by Harbour Support Services from September.

Lesley Gibson, the company’s chief executive, said: “We want people to know that they can contact us if they feel concerned about their own situation or that of a friend or family member.”

The free, confidential service will offer one-to-one help for men and women and provide group programmes and activities for children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

To contact the service, call 03000-202525 or email durham@myharbour.org.uk