Libraries launch project to help Bay domestic violence victims

Section of books at library

The library's special display - Credit: Submitted

A new initiative to support victims of domestic violence and abuse is being launched across the four libraries in Torbay.

Libraries Unlimited is starting 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.

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 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.

Sarah said: “We’re stocking titles such as No Visible Bruises: What we Don’t Know about Domestic Violence can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Synder, 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."

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 can help.

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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 Anyone in immediate danger should not hesitate to call 999. 

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