A LOCAL charity has been awarded £10,000 to help extend its services to support victims of domestic violence.

The funding has been given to Hometruths Co-operative using money raised by Health-Total Community Interest Company through The Health Lottery, Hometruths Co-operative was set up by independent domestic violence advocates, Kim Swinden and Mary Cosker to support people who are victims of both physical and mental abuse at home.

They help victims find counselling and support people through court cases and visits to the solicitors.

Kim said the money would go towards a community outreach project called Life in Harmony.

She said: “Life in Harmony will be a 12-month project dedicated to pregnant women and new mothers.

“Its aim is to reduce harm and homicide of women and their babies in Swindon who are experiencing domestic violence.

“It will bridge domestic abuse, pregnancy and health by providing opportunities for women to disclose issues of abuse safely.”

The project will see 125 women attending drop-in sessions and access phone advice.

Hometruths is an independent service for anyone aged 16 and over experiencing domestic violence and abuse, including stalking and harass- ment.

It offers support, crisis intervention, information and advocacy. Domestic violence is the prime cause of miscarriage, still birth, low birth weight and maternal deaths.

More than 2,500 incidents of domestic violence are reported to Swindon Police annually, but this represents only 20 per cent of incidents.

Donald Macrae, director of HealthTotal, said:“Our focus is on health problems that are specific to the Gloucestershire and Swindon region and this funding lets our communities, and communities within communities, directly address their problems in ways that will most effectively make things better.”

This new source of funding is open to small charities or groups working in local communities to take action to help people live longer healthier lives.