DOMESTIC abuse victims in Carmarthenshire are to benefit from a share of a new £500,000 support service.

The scheme will see five new support workers installed to help reduce the risk of abuse and increase the safety of victims across the Dyfed-Powys Police Force area.

The service will be provided by a partnership of Welsh organisations on behalf of Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon.

In the year to September 2013, the region recorded 1,346 domestic abuse-related crimes.

Mr Salmon said: “Domestic abuse wrecks lives and makes people fearful in the very place they should feel safe – at home; I want to tackle it and this frontline initiative will help. It will give independent support to vulnerable individuals, repeat and high-risk victims and their families.

“Our new support workers will improve victims’ access to specialist agencies, will increase feelings of safety and will improve victims’ quality of life.”

The workers will be employed by Carmarthen-based charity Hafan Cymru, the Carmarthenshire Domestic Abuse Forum (CDAF) and Swansea-based care and support specialist Grwp Gwalia and based in the four Dyfed-Powys counties to compliment the region’s existing IDVA services.

They will ensure that those referred to them by agencies such as Dyfed-Powys Police and domestic abuse charities including Women’s Aid groups are offered swift and effective support by relevant services.

Hafan Cymru acting chief executive Nikki Warrington said: “Our five new Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) support officers will help address a regional shortfall in such provision. They will be flexible, responsive and will provide crisis intervention, and emotional, financial and practical assistance. They will support victims through the criminal justice process.”

Gwalia executive director Richard Davies said: “Gwalia are delighted to strengthen the support we give to victims of domestic abuse in Dyfed-Powys through the recruitment of IDVA Support Officers. There is a huge demand for such services and Gwalia welcomes the fact the Commissioner has prioritised this for investment and development in order to meet the needs of our communities.”

CDAF chair Angela Riddington said: “We’re very pleased to be working with the Commissioner, Hafan Cymru and Gwalia to ensure there’s a consistent IDVA service across Dyfed Powys. It’s crucial that issues around domestic abuse and violence against women are addressed.”

The new service will initially run from October 2014-March 2018 at an annual cost of £153,000.