Priti gives her continued support to Domestic Abuse victims and visits women’s refuge in Colchester
Priti Patel, the MP for Witham, visited a women’s refuge run by Next Chapter in Colchester recently to hear about the experiences of women who have fled domestic violence or abuse in the local area.
Next Chapter (formerly known as Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge) is a domestic abuse charity working across the areas of Tendring, Colchester, Maldon, Chelmsford, Braintree & Uttlesford. They provide free and confidential services to support people who are either currently experiencing or have previously experienced domestic abuse.
Priti, as a former Home Secretary, has been a longstanding campaigner and supporter of women and children who have suffered domestic abuse. She had a tour of the refuge, led by Next Chapter CEO Beverly Jones, and met women and children who were staying there as well as hearing from staff about their work in supporting victims of domestic abuse from both Colchester and the wider Essex region.
During the visit, Priti also discussed some of the challenges women can face when trying to access services, and in particular service integration issues with other organisations such as the NHS and local authorities.
They were also joined on the visit by representatives from Women’s Aid, who had helped to organize the visit in conjunction with Next Chapter.
Priti said: “I would like to thank Next Chapter for their important work and the support they provide to women locally, and for the opportunity to hear from users of the services and their experiences firsthand.
As Home Secretary, I launched our national approach to tackling domestic abuse and brought into law the Domestic Abuse Act in 2021, as well as leading on all our work to tackle violence against women and girls. These are abhorrent crimes and I have always worked to support victims and survivors, as well as setting out clear ambitions to prioritise the prevention of domestic abuse crimes, supporting victims and pursuing the perpetrators.”
Beverly Jones, CEO of Next Chapter said: “Next Chapter welcomed the visit by Priti Patel MP to meet with our staff and residents, and the opportunity to share and discuss the current issues faced by some of the most vulnerable women in society when trying to access domestic abuse services, and the steps that can be taken by this Government to improve this access and remove barriers. We also had the opportunity to share our examples of best practice, both in our service delivery and our partnership working across Essex.”