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New library initiative helps to support Torbay victims of domestic violence

Posted on 10 Jun 2021

Book DisplayA new initiative to support those experiencing domestic violence and abuse is being launched across the four libraries in Torbay.

Libraries Unlimited is launching a resource centre at Torquay library, where visitors will be able to access a number of books along with information on domestic abuse, and benefit from a safe space where staff will be available to provide support and guidance.

A grant of £300 for the project has been awarded by the Torbay Community Development Trust on behalf of Torbay Council as part of its Community Grants fund, which has been set up to improve people’s health and well-being via community-led projects.

Sarah Kennedy, Library Supervisor at Torquay Library, said: “We believe people already see libraries as safe, welcoming spaces and this could be extremely important to someone who simply doesn’t know where to go or who to turn to.”

Visitors to the library who are in need of information and support can get assistance from library staff by using the key code word ‘ANI’ (pronounced ‘Annie’) which stands for Assistance Needed Immediately. Trained staff will then take the person to a separate, private area, where they can look through specialist publications, and leaflets that give support and guidance. Information can also be accessed via library computers, free of charge.

Cllr Christine Carter commented: “I am pleased that the Community Grant awarded to Torbay Libraries is being used to provide some additional support and resource for people looking for help and advice regarding domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“The Council continues to work with multiple partners and agencies across Torbay to deliver the vital services and support needed to tackle the issue of domestic violence. By awarding a Community Grant to Torbay Libraries, we hope to provide further access points for information as well as safe places for people to come to get the help and advice they need.”

Sarah added: “We’re stocking titles such as No Visible Bruises: What we Don’t Know about Domestic Violence can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder, It’s My Life Now by Meg Kennedy Dugan, Gaslighting by Dr Theresa Covert, Breaking the Chains of Abuse by Sue Atkinson and Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen. There is also a range of books for children and teenagers. The books cover different aspects of abuse such as how to cope, who to contact, why it happens and how to support others going through abuse plus helping people rebuild their lives.”

Initially the books will be stocked at Torquay Library, but they can be ordered anywhere. If anyone feels they would like to read the books privately then staff can find them a quiet space. There’s also a leaflet available with a list of contact numbers for local and national organisations which help people suffering a wide range of different types of abuse.

Residents can also find further information on domestic violence and sexual abuse including details of local support services and helplines – around the clock, by visiting the ‘Are You Ok?’ website www.areyouok.co.uk. Anyone in immediate danger should not hesitate to call 999.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.