Help for abuse survivors

STOCK: Domestic violence illustraion.

STOCK: Domestic violence illustraion.

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Women in Nottinghamshire who have suffered from domestic abuse are to receive more help to get them on the road to recovery thanks to a new scheme.

The county has been chosen for a pilot scheme to tackle domestic abuse called ‘Change that Lasts’, which has been launched by national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, in partnership with charity SafeLives.

The scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Women and Girls Initiative, has been designed to help women experiencing domestic abuse receive support earlier and help them to achieve long-term recovery and independence.

Women’s Aid has reviewed current approaches to tackling domestic abuse and the systems in place which are currently not working effectively. Survivors frequently report to Women’s Aid that opportunities to help them were missed.

The charity has therefore proposed a new model to provide a framework that facilitates the shortest, and most effective route to safety, freedom and independence for each survivor. This programme will put the survivor at the heart of it, basing the support given on their individual situation and the resources available to them; for example, support from her friends, workplace, or a family network.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “Our decades of experience working with women, and our research, have confirmed that we need a better way than the current approach to domestic abuse. Too often our response to women who are in appalling situations is still based on an inadequate understanding of what they really need to be safe and to recover. We end up focusing on short-term measures which do not enable families to thrive in the future.

“By listening to women we can provide help earlier, and make sure that the help is effective and long-lasting, leading to true independence. We are thrilled that we can finally put into practice our innovative response to domestic abuse that has survivors at its heart – and will lead to long-term change.”

Jane Lewis, of the Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum, said: “We especially welcome the additional focus that the academic evaluation of the project will bring.”