A SERVICE for survivors of domestic violence and abuse is appealing for help.

HOMETRUTHS, which supports survivors across the town, is looking for old mobile phones without GPS as well as funds to help keep it going.

The not-for-profit social enterprise, which started in 2011, helps survivors in abusive relationships as well as those in the process of separating, or who have experienced abuse in the past.

Director Kim Swinden, said: “Despite the fact that domestic violence and abuse is more mainstream and less of a taboo area, it is still hidden and there are still taboos around it.

“Society is good at stereotyping them as poor vulnerable women. Actually they are independent and vibrant. It is the abuse that affects how and who they are. They are amazing women.”

On average 4,500 incidents of domestic abuse are reported in Swindon and Wiltshire each year, but it is thought that 80 per cent of people do not report abuse.

HOMETRUTHS works only with the survivors and has no contact with perpetrators.

Officials run projects such as New Beginnings, which helps people with self-esteem and confidence.

The service is piloting a project called SOS, which supports women who have been stalked by partners or ex-partners.

Police officers, solicitors and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson met the group for a stalking awareness day, where the survivors shared stories.

Director Mary Cosker said they had received twice the number of referrals to the SOS project they were expecting.

“The SOS Project is a pilot, but because of its success it is essential we receive ongoing funding after November,” she said.

The group also wants donations of old mobile phones without GPS, such as old Nokias and Motorolas, with chargers.

HOMETRUTHS also run the Freedom programme, a confidential support group that helps women understand the behaviour and beliefs of abusive male partners.

They also run the Life in Harmony programme, which supports women who are pregnant or have very young children .

There is also the Tears Survivors Forum, a group of 15 survivors who meet every two months.

The forum recently met Mr Macpherson, where they shared experiences.

For details or to donate visit www.hometruths. coop or phone 01793 617589. Donations can be posted to HOMETRUTHS, Box 63, 116 Commercial Road, Swindon, Wilts, SN1 5BD.