This consultation has now closed. On 29 April 2021, a key piece of legislation - the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent. The Act has placed some statutory duties on local authorities which have included setting up a Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board, completing a Needs Assessment to identify gaps in support and in particular for those who are in specialist domestic abuse accommodation having left an abusive relationship. The statutory duties have provided Bedford Borough Council with the opportunity to review our existing Strategy and work in collaboration with our partners, the Local Partnership Board and take on board the voices of survivors of domestic abuse to bring together our next strategic plan. This plan articulates our goals and priorities over the medium term and we have called it ‘Bedford Borough Strategy to Address and Reduce Domestic Abuse 2021-26’. This plan builds on the previous multi-agency work of the Council and its partners over the last three years and it incorporates addressing the support needs of those in safe accommodation as defined by Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Statutory Guidance. View the draft Strategy to Address and Reduce Domestic Abuse 2021-26 (PDF) Paper copies are available at all Bedford Borough Libraries or on request. How to have your say We are keen to seek the views of residents, businesses, and other stakeholders on this important document in particular our five key priorities and objectives. You can send your ideas, comments or expressions of interest in the following ways: Email us: DASupport@bedford.gov.uk Write to: Consulting Bedford, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP. Comments should be received by 23 November 2021 and may be published. What happens next? All responses we receive will be considered carefully by officers, and will be used to inform a revised strategy to be considered for adoption. If approved, the Strategy to Address and Reduce Domestic Abuse 2021-26 will be effective from 5 January 2022. Consultation Outcome Report Consultation comments and responses Domestic abuse help and support If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse here are some useful contacts for support: National Domestic Abuse Helpline telephone number: 0808 2000 247 Mankind is a helpline for male victims/survivors of domestic abuse: Tel: 01823 334244 GALOP is a helpline for LGBT+ victims/survivors of domestic abuse Domestic abuse advice on GOV.UK Karma Nirvana is for anyone who is affected by honour-based abuse Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership website also lists a number of organisations within Bedfordshire who may be able to offer assistance In an emergency please call 999.