Take a stand against Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

The YOU Trust is joining with other fantastic organisations around the world this year to support of the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence and Abuse and White Ribbon campaigns to end male violence against women once and for all. We have launched the “Take a stand against Domestic Abuse” campaign to raise some much-needed awareness on the issue starting with this introduction to what Domestic Abuse is.

What is Domestic Abuse

The UK government defines domestic violence and abuse as an act or series of acts which may be violent, abusive, coercive and threatening behaviour or controlling often between individuals 16 or over, that are/ were in a relationship, been intimate or between family members.

Types Of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse can take various forms, the most common of which are Physical, Sexual, Financial and Psychological /Emotional.

Physical Abuse: This form of abuse covers a lot of physical acts of violence towards the victim including acts like; punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, pulling hairs, shoving, strangling and, violence against family/pets, use or threat of use of weapons (knives, bats, sticks, etc.)

Sexual Abuse: This form of domestic abuse refers to unwanted acts of a sexual nature directed at the victim. This includes acts like, sexual harassment or pressure, rape, persuading others (especially children) to participate in sexual acts and use of sexually degrading language.

Financial: This refers to situations where a person looks to gain from the finances of another over whom they have influence or control over. Financial abuse includes acts such as making the victim take out credit, taking loans in the victim’s name, stealing from them, destroying their property, controlling their access to money, not contributing to joint bills and so on.

Psychological/Emotional: This is where the victim is psychologically controlled by the abuser. The victim may be subjected to controlling and coercive acts that cause them to feel guilty, ignored, isolated, scared, bullied, insignificant, and may be prevented from making decisions about their own lives such as who they see and where they can or can’t go.

Other Types Of Domestic Abuse To Note

Stalking: Stalking is defined as the persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered and harassed, distressed, alarmed, fearful of violence against you (Victim Support). It includes acts like following, watching or spying on a person, forcing contact with them (including contacting them on Social media), regularly sending unwanted gifts and sending threats.

FGM: FGM or Female Genital Mutilation is a term used to describe acts of removing partially or completely, the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. These acts are often referred to as female circumcision or cutting and are commonly practised by people of minority ethnic groups especially those of Middle Eastern, African and Asian origin.

These acts are illegal in the UK and are considered a gross violation of human rights against girls and women because of the suffering that they cause those affected especially during sex and childbirth.

Who Is Affected By Domestic Abuse?

Although women are the most likely to be victims of Domestic Abuse, anyone could be a victim of Domestic Abuse regardless of age, gender, sexuality.

  • According to the ONS, “an estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse” in the UK last year – of those, 713,000 were men.
  • 228,385 child protection referrals were made as a result of domestic abuse-related incidents in the year ending June 2017.
  • 64% of women staying in refuges have children staying with them.
  • Among the elderly, although the proportion of domestic abuse cases tends to decline with age among women, the opposite is the case in men.

Graph showing proportion of domestic violence against the person by age and sex

The YOU Trust’s Role

At The YOU Trust, we are committed to developing and delivering services that reduce harm and increase the safety of all victims and survivors of Domestic Abuse within our community.

We are actively working to achieve this by providing expert advice and support through our community and accommodation based services which ensure our clients have easy access to the emotional support and security they need to move on. These services are listed below.

Please follow the links to contact the relevant team if you need any support

Domestic Abuse Services

Children and Family Services

Refuge and Safe Houses

Community Support Groups

Outreach Support

Independent Domestic Violence Advocated

Take a Stand Today

You can take a stand with us today by

  1. sharing this post on your social media page to raise awareness among your friends
  2. supporting the work we do to support the victims and survivors of Domestic Abuse. You can do this by Giving Online or directly to our services in Dorset (youfirstdorsetenquiries@theyoutrust.org.uk) and Hampshire (spoc@theyoutrust.org.uk)
  3. or you can get some training and equip yourself to better spot cases of Domestic Abuse. Our sister organisation, My Learning Cloud, provides excellent e-learning courses on Domestic Abuse, Safeguarding Children and Young People and Safeguarding Adults that would be perfect starting points for this.

New Soft Play Room for Domestic Abuse Refuge

On the 14 of February, North Dorset Domestic Abuse Refuge will be officially opening a soft play room for the under 5s. The Refuge, run by You First Dorset, part of The YOU Trust charity, has been provided with funds by Friends of North Dorset Refuge project to go ahead. All parties involved are thrilled to be able to provide such a fantastic provision for children whose parents are being supported by You First.

The Chair of Friends of North Dorset Refuge, Sara Jackson, stated: “The Friends of North Dorset Refuge are delighted to see the completion of a project they have been working on for some years – a soft play room for younger children. We have raised the funds for this room which is brightly coloured and full of shaped and sounds, discoveries to be made and fun to be had – what is not to like for a small child?

Older children have their own space in a different part of the building – now the smaller residents have theirs where they can be safe, play with others and always have Mum on hand to help with new challenges: climbing, carrying, building, naming colours and all the time learning without realising that there is a different way of living, free from fear.”

This brilliant addition will compliment the existing activity room – You First have a specialist worker who engages with all children as we know that safe play spaces are vital for all children as we know that safe play spaces are vital for all children to come to terms with their experience of living with domestic abuse.

Katie Bielec, Integrated Service Manager of You First Dorset, said: “This extra safe space for children under 5 will allow them to play, explore and be free. It is an essential part of their journey and we are incredibly grateful to the Friends of North Dorset Refuge and Sovereign who have worked closely with us to ensure this addition to the refuge occurred.”

Women and children at the refuge, and You First staff, want to extend their thanks to the Friend of North Dorset Refuge for the generous donation, and to the Sovereign Housing Association, for working with us to install the soft play equipment.

Christmas 2016

Christmas was as busy as ever at YOU this (last!) year. We had parties, we had feasts, there were gifts and Father Christmas himself even did the rounds.

Staff working in our domestic abuse and violence refuges went all out to keep the magic of Christmas alive for the children living there. Living in a refuge can be a strange and unnerving experience for young people, and refuge staff work alongside children’s’ parents to make sure they feel safe and as normal as possible. Christmas is a great opportunity to bring some familiarity into their lives, and a good excuse for a few parties! A special thanks to local charity Free Cakes for Kids who provided two fabulous cakes for the Christmas party in Basingstoke.

On the 22nd of December residents at Byways (supported living service for people with learning disabilities) were greeted with an early Christmas present – a new car! Bought with funds raised by fundraising group, Friends of Byways,  It will mean greater independence, more social opportunities, and generally provide more ease in being involved in the local community and daily living. Huge thanks to all involved.

Byways residents with their new car

We hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year break. Here’s to 2017 and all the good stuff to come!

Councillor visits Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

On October 3 2016 Councillor Terri Reid met with women, children and staff at a refuge in Hampshire which is run by You First, the domestic violence and abuse service of The YOU Trust working across West and North Hampshire.

People in the refuge are fleeing domestic violence and abuse, such as Jo – she has two children under 5 and was placed in the refuge by the police after the last violent incident at home. The police had been called a number of times, but Jo wanted to make her marriage work for the sake of the children.  Jo says the violence and control by her husband was getting worse and she was afraid he would kill her and hurt the children, so this time she came to the refuge.

Jo has been at refuge for 6 weeks and was worried when she first came here, what it would be like, what the other women would be like and how the children would settle. Jo says its been great, the other women are a good laugh and its good to have someone to talk to who understands. The children have made new friends and they get lots of help from the children’s workers. Jo feels really safe now and has started to think about her move on and where she may end up.  There is so much more to Jo’s story and moving into refuge was a positive step for her.

You First Hampshire support women, men and children who have experienced or who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse in their relationships. This can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 3 from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will experience domestic violence and abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Funded by Hampshire County Council the service provides free and discreet support, advice and refuge to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Last year You First worked with over 2,000 people who had experienced domestic violence and abuse in Hampshire and Councillor Terri Reid visited the refuge to understand the work first-hand through meeting workers and domestic violence and abuse survivors.

Commenting on Councillor Terri Reid’s visit, the Head of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department, Tonia Redvers, stated: “It is brilliant that Terri came to visit the refuge, YOU is always very happy to welcome Councillors to the refuge to meet the people we work with and understand the issues they are facing. Refuge accommodation is vital for some people who are fleeing domestic violence – it offers a place of safety for both adults and children and gives them time to come to terms with what they have experienced. Refuge is more than a roof over their heads, it gives people the space to stop and think about their future and, when ready, we can keep working together when moving on into the community to live a life free of abuse.”

Since visiting the refuge Councillor Terri Reid has added: The Council is committed to preventing homelessness and supporting vulnerable people and I am delighted to be able to see again at first hand the vital specialist work being undertaken by the YOU Trust to support some of our most vulnerable residents. Domestic Abuse is a significant cause of homelessness; the fact that there is a range of alternative good quality options and support for victims and their families means they can receive a service most suited to their needs.”

 

If you are think you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, please contact YOU First on 0330 016 5112. For emergency assistance, always dial 999 first.

MP Visits Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

On May 20 2016 MP Mims Davies met with women, children and workers at a refuge in Hampshire which is run by You First, the domestic violence and abuse service of The YOU Trust working across West and North Hampshire.

YOU First Hampshire support women, men and children who have experienced or who are experiencing psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse in their relationships. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 3 from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will experience domestic violence and abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Funded by Hampshire County Council the service provides free and discreet support, advice and refuge to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Last year YOU First worked with over 1,200 people who had experienced domestic violence and abuse in the west of Hampshire and over 200 people came to refuge accommodation. YOU First work in partnership with Home Group who are the landlords of the refuges provided in West Hampshire and supply management support.

MP Mims Davies visited the refuge to understand the work first-hand through meeting workers and domestic violence and abuse survivors.

Commenting on MP Mims Davies visit, the Head of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department, Tonia Redvers, stated: “It is brilliant that Mims came to visit the refuge, its really important that members of government understand the work we do at a local level. Refuge accommodation is vital for some people who are fleeing domestic violence – it offers a place of safety for both adults and children and gives them time to come to terms with what they have experienced. Refuge is more than crisis accommodation, it gives people the space to stop and think about their future and, when ready, we can keep working together when moving on into the community to live a life free of abuse.”

If you are think you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, please contact YOU First on 0330 016 5112. For emergency assistance, always dial 999 first.