DOMESTIC violence workers said resources were stretched to the limit as figures for the crime jumped almost a third.

The Hyndburn And Ribble Valley Domestic Violence Team – HARV, based in Accrington, provides specialist services to help vulnerable domestic violence victims in the area each year Last year the group said they feared going under as they reported a 60 per cent increase in families in need of their aid.

Now HARV, which is looking at a second rise this year of 28 per cent, said it has only three support workers to help 1,018 families currently in need.

The group, which had anticipated cuts in funding this month, said it was receiving help from Hyndburn Council, and had been approved for another year’s Lottery grant. However these funds would only just keep them afloat.

The lack of resources means the group is changing the way it helps victims of violence, and it had to cut traditional one-on-one case work.

Instead HARV has set up focus groups where domestic violence issues are tackled with groups of women, to stay on top of the casework.

Debbie Fawcett, domestic violence team manager, said: “We can do effective work this way - such as taking groups and using their support for each other in the best way.

“We also have been setting up groups for young men who have been around domestic violence and started to show worrying behaviours around others.

“This is helping us keep on top of things but we are stretched to the limit. If figures keep rising this way and if we see any more cuts, we are in trouble.”