TRANSGENDER people and men are among those who have received help from Copeland council’s trailblazing project to tackle domestic abuse.

The authority has supported over 70 adults in the past year, the majority of whom were women, a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny has heard.

However, strategic housing manager Amanda Starr, also revealed that those helped also included people male victims and those who identify as a different gender to the one they were assigned at birth.

She said: “The biggest impact (on homelessness) has been through the council’s domestic abuse project.

“In the past year, we have supported over 70 adults, not all women. And we are not talking necessarily just about traditional domestic situations.

“We have had transgender people and we have had men access the service.

“Not everybody (re-housed) has children but the majority do, and the majority are women.

“Over 100 children have been helped by the council in the last 12 months to be lifted out of domestic abuse situations.”

However, while the council receives some Government funding to tackle homelessness, it needs external grants to support its work with the victims of domestic abuse.

However, Ms Starr said she was hoping to hear some positive funding news “in the very near future.”

The report identifies domestic abuse as a “significant issue” in West Cumbria, with the region reporting “higher than average incidents” for its population size.

It found that domestic abuse is also a major cause of homelessness and is often a “hidden problem”, with victims often remaining in long-term relationships, “unaware of how to break free.”

Copeland employs a Crisis and Prevention who works with police to raise awareness of the help available of the help available.

This specialist role was created in January last year to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation, ensuring vulnerable people can get the housing and help they need.

The council also provides emergency accommodation to those in need to ensure they have a safe place to stay, including properties designed specifically for people with children.