ACTRESS Lynda Bellingham cut the ribbon on a new national centre working to stamp out domestic violence and abuse based at the University of Worcester on Friday.

The former Loose Women panellist was awarded a fellowship by the university as she officially opened the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA) on June 20.

The centre will work to better understand the causes of domestic violence and abuse, methods of prevention and ways in which victims can be better supported.

Mrs Bellingham, who herself has been a victim of domestic abuse, said she was "very honoured" to be awarded the fellowship.

"The university has made is very clear that it supports all the work done on behalf of domestic violence," she said.

"Having experienced violence myself I am a firm believer in the continued fight for everyone to feel safe in their own homes.

"It is vital that society recognises the danger to women from violence in the home and we must work to make it unacceptable on any count.

"Men and children are victims of domestic violence too - it seeps into the fabric of our lives."

She added it was important bosses understood how to support employees who were suffering abuse at home.

"It affects every fibre of family life," she said.

"No one should ever feel afraid in their own, never."

NCSPVA director Ruth Jones - who was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year's Honours for her work supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence - said she was "delighted" Mrs Bellingham had thrown her support behind the initiative.

"Launching NCSPVA is a natural and exciting progression of the work we have done over the last 10 years to raise the levels of research, awareness and understanding in violence and abuse and one which will allow us to not only continue with our work on domestic and sexual violence but expand and encompass wider and cutting issues of violence and abuse," she said.

"Our vision is to create a centre of excellence that will make a significant contribution to knowledge, knowledge transfer, evidence based police and practice and ultimately to prevention."

For more information call the University of Worcester on 01905 855 000 or visit