VICTIMS of domestic abuse will receive support by newly-appointed staff in two Worcestershire hospitals.

The new Dedicated Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) will provide early support to domestic abuse victims when they visit selected hospitals in the region.

Following a pilot project in Worcestershire and Shropshire, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has increased the funding allocated to Women’s Aid to allow the scheme to be introduced across the West Mercia area.

Mr Campion said: “It is so important that victims of domestic abuse are getting the support they need early on, and I remain committed to ensuring that that happens.

"The sooner services like Women’s Aid can intervene the better.

“The new locations for the IDVAs will be invaluable. Survivors who have been supported by the service have previously said that they felt safe and protected and that they saw their IDVA as their guardian angel.”

In addition to the existing IDVA service in the community, the new contract will place advisors within Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and the Alex in Redditch.

It has been found that four in five domestic abuse victims do not report the abuse to the police, so it is hoped having these advisors in hospitals will allow for early intervention and support.

Sue Coleman, chief executive for West Mercia Women’s Aid, said: “The new IDVA service will have the opportunity to work alongside health professionals.

"We have been discussing with hospital managers how to best ensure that hospital staff can call upon IDVAs, to support patients who disclose their experience of abuse, whilst in the safe and confidential hospital environment.

“Women’s Aid has piloted work in hospitals in the past, and it was extremely successful.

"We are really pleased to now have the capacity to develop this work in the longer term, and know that the presence of IDVAs in hospitals will make it possible for more people to feel safe and confident in asking for help with domestic abuse.”