A CHARITY tackling domestic violence has been given a £5,000 boost from Wiltshire High Sheriff Nicky Alberry’s year of fundraising.

Splitz in Trowbridge will use the money for its work with perpetrators, said delighted director Fran Lewis. “We are so pleased with this money and so grateful to Nicky, it will make a real difference,” she said.

Mrs Alberry pledged to highlight domestic violence and the work going on across Wiltshire to tackle it when she took up her role in May.

She said: "I wanted to raise the issue of domestic abuse and domestic violence wherever I can, especially the impact it has on people and their families, particularly women and their families because it is still predominantly a female problem.

“One in four women, one in six men, are affected by it at some stage in their life, and it is not just physical abuse, it’s mental abuse, it’s coercive behaviour and it has a massive, massive impact on the children.”

Mrs Lewis said Splitz, formed in 1989 and now providing support and training to victims all over the south west, has an intervention programme aimed at working with perpetrators to help them understand why they are abusive.

“We will us this money to employ someone else to work one-to-one with perpetrators. We have people who for various reasons can’t take part in group sessions, so this is very important. Intervention works, and it is better than getting the Arnica out for the bruises later.”

She said Mrs Alberry’s work to highlight the issue is much-needed. “She is amazing, and she has her feet on the ground, you wouldn’t think a High Sheriff could be like that.

“It’s a tough thing to highlight because not everyone wants to know about it. But she said she would do it and she has done it. We are so grateful for the work she has done.”

Mrs Alberry also donated £600 to Chippenham charity Helping Victims of Domestic Violence to pay for an outing for families.

The money has been raised through fundraising events, including a party at STEAM in Swindon in July and a fundraising dinner at Bowood House hosted by Lady Lansdowne in September where Women’s Aid Foundation leader Katie Goshe and designer Cath Kidston were speakers. Money was also donated to Swindon Women’s Aid, The Nelson Trust, Salisbury Women’s Refuge and community radio station Swindon 105.5.

She said: “It was fantastic that so many people came to support the events and I thank them all. It was lovely to be able to give the money out, especially just before Christmas.”

Splitz is still trying to raise money for the perpetrators programme. To donate contact the group on (01225) 77772.