Domestic Abuse Can Affect Anyone

What does domestic abuse look like? Who commits domestic abuse? Who gets abused? Although each of those questions may prompt an immediate response or two, the reality is quite stark: domestic abuse takes many forms; anyone could be an abuser; and domestic abuse can affect anyone.

A recent report by the National Rural Crime Network examined the experiences of domestic abuse survivors in rural communities. The findings revealed that people experiencing domestic abuse in these places face additional challenges. Not only do the circumstances of isolation delay or prevent people from seeking help, but they also lead others to ignore signs of abuse.

Along with Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership, as the provider of the Island’s Integrated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Crime Service, You First is working to raise awareness. Awareness not only about the different kinds of abuse, but also about the support available.

Drawing attention to the fact that domestic abuse can affect anyone can make a real difference. First, it helps us to be mindful of biases which would otherwise prevent us from accepting people’s lived experience. Second, it helps us to be more attuned to signs of abuse. Beyond that, it prepares us to better support each other.

Domestic abuse does not discriminate by age. Domestic abuse does not discriminate by religious belief. Domestic abuse does not discriminate by ethnic origin. Whilst women and girls are more likely to become victims of domestic abuse, men are also affected but often do not access support.

Whoever you are, whatever your situation, we can help. If you have been affected by domestic abuse or believe someone you know is, call You First on 0800 234 6266.

In an emergency, please call 999.

Domestic Abuse Can Affect Anyone flyer with the Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership

YOU IS GRANTED £10K TO SUPPORT VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT

On 11 June 2019, the National Lottery Community Fund announced almost £88 million had been awarded to over 3,000 good causes to help communities to thrive by tackling loneliness and isolation.

YOU was awarded £10,000 of this funding to support with the recruitment and retention of volunteers. Volunteers at YOU are very important as we have many services that are supported by those who give up their time to give something back to their communities and work alongside some of the vulnerable people accessing our services. In particular, our My Time (a service that supports carers) and Counselling with YOU services, as these services are predominately delivered by volunteers and so much value is added by their amazing contribution.

Our 17 Counselling with YOU volunteers have a wealth of knowledge and experience between them and offer person centred, holistic counselling to people who may not be able to access counselling for a very small fee. The volunteers are a mixture of students on Diploma courses and qualified counsellors with other roles or their own private practices.

The My Time team will go to a carer’s home to discuss with them their current situation and then match the person with a volunteer or staff member depending on their support needs to provide respite for carers. An example of the support provided by one of our volunteers was to Mr and Mrs P. Mr P really wanted to go out and about, and unfortunately, due to ill-health Mrs P could not push his wheelchair around and felt Mr P was missing out because of this. A volunteer was matched with Mr and Mrs P who now takes Mr P to local green spaces on a weekly basis as this as what was important to the couple.

Within Advice Portsmouth, another service delivered by YOU, the volunteers and staff provide legal advice to the people of Portsmouth on a range of issues such as social welfare benefits, family issues, employment, debt, housing and consumer law. One volunteer is also trained to support people to complete debt relief orders, and they saved people approximately £590,000 worth of debt in 2018.

Our West Sussex Connect Domestic Abuse service have launched their Peer Mentor project and are looking for volunteers who are survivors of domestic abuse to come and support current service users. These volunteers can help through recovery support groups of one-to-one sessions, with the support of staff at Connect.

Across our services, we are always looking for innovative ways in which we can work with volunteers to support the people we work with in their communities and we truly appreciate any time that our volunteers give. We welcome anyone to get in touch to have a conversation about what they are looking for as part of a volunteer role, and also what we as an organisation can do for our volunteers. Part of the awarded grant has already been used to recognise the contribution of our current volunteers as part of big Thank YOU to their dedication and hard work. The rest of the grant will be used so YOU can attend fairs to recruit further volunteers across our geographical locations in partnership with local agencies, such as One Community, Purple Door and Portsmouth Together. It will also be used for other reward and recognition strategies to aid our retention of our amazing volunteers.

Further information and contact details on all the opportunities mentioned within this article can be found on our website: www.theyoutrust.org.uk, or feel free to give our recruitment team a call on 01329 821936.

You can find a form here to directly apply to become a volunteer:
https://theyoutrust.org.uk/specialism/head-office/

Real Change project launched to boost support for homeless

Real Change fundraising appeal for Basingstoke’s homeless

Homeless and vulnerable people in the borough are set to get better access to support services with the launch of a new Real Change project.

Basingstoke Voluntary Action aims to raise £11,000 over the next four months to help the Camrose Centre and the Basingstoke TimeBank Project continue their vital work with rough sleepers and those who are socially isolated.

Supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and other partners in the Social Inclusion Partnership, which launched the Real Change campaign, the latest initiative is set to provide a wider range of services to tackle homelessness in the borough. 

Donate via the Good Exchange website: https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/14880/basingstoke-voluntary-action/real-change-for-basingstoke-2019—camrose-centre-timebank-development

Organisations Supported by Real Change

The Camrose Centre in Basingstoke town centre provides a welcoming place where homeless and vulnerably housed people can find a meal, have a shave and a shower and access support services – including advice on housing, legal matters, mental health, primary healthcare, substance abuse, relationships, sexual health, children, benefits, domestic violence, education, emotional struggles, employment and financial issues.

Its team of committed staff and volunteers help men and women to avoid, survive and recover from homelessness; encourage them to make life-changing choices and to maintain better relationships with those around them. Funds raised will be used to support the future expansion of the project.

The Basingstoke TimeBank works with a variety of people, including those experiencing mental health challenges and homelessness, to improve their health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation. Its staff help them feel connected to their local communities and encourage them to participate in activities that boost their self-esteem as well as the opportunity to give something back.

The Timebank works on the principle that everyone has skills that they can share to build a stronger community. By giving their time in exchange for credits, they can then get help for themselves, for example to get a lift or help in the garden.

What Your Donation Can Do

Camrose Centre trustee Mike Browning said: “We are hoping that the community will support us in this joint fundraising project. Not only will the money we receive allow us to give immediate help to street homeless people and those recovering from or at risk of losing their homes, it will give us the financial security to expand our service in the future.

“We are in urgent need of cash and goods to fulfil our role. As well as helping clients to make positive changes, we provide a place for socializing in safety and warmth, enjoying a well-prepared hot meal and for finding a listening ear and companionship.”

Janet Cran, manager of The YOU Trust at First Point Basingstoke, added: “Please support our fundraising appeal on The Good Exchange website – every pound we raise will help vulnerable people in the borough to get the support they deserve and give them hope for the future.”

Last December, Real Change opened the Winter Night Shelter again for 12 weeks, providing overnight accommodation and meals to 315 people. Local people generously supported this popular project by donating a total of £15,196.

For information on how you can help to tackle homelessness in the borough visit www.realchangebasingstoke.org.uk

Dragonfly Project Event – 9th May 2019

Dragonfly Project Networking Event on Community-Based Response to Domestic Violence

The Dragonfly Project embodies our belief that we all have a part to play in working to prevent domestic violence. We all must support those who have experienced abuse.

Dorset’s response to the project has been tremendous. Therefore, we would like you to join us to make connections with our Champions and the organisations who work together to make for a safer, more supportive community. Excitingly, the project will soon expand to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Featured international guest speaker Donna Anne Pace, a former service user, will share her journey with you. Additionally, the YOU Trust’s Head of Hidden Violence and Counselling Services, Tonia Redvers, will be speaking on the future of the project and its place in the current landscape.

We are delighted to have the support of the Mayor of Dorchester, David Taylor, who will also be in attendance.

Light refreshments will be provided, and confirmed stallholders include Home Start, Magna Housing, Dorset Rape Crisis, and more.

Reserve your FREE tickets to the Dragonfly Project Takes Flight on Eventbrite.

Stalking: A private problem for the public’s health

Stalking is a crime. It is not a joke, or a product of strong romantic feelings. At its core, it is similar to domestic abuse and sexual violence because it is about control. Stalkers use persistent, unwanted contact to frighten and distress their victims. Stalking victims suffer as a result. Some live with mental ill health, or alter their lives due to their experience of stalking.

Perhaps surprisingly, stalking victims do not turn to the police right away. In fact, a 2005 University of Leicester study discovered that more than 3 in 4 victims have experienced 100 incidents or more by the time they reported the matter. Moreover, it is typical for incidents to spread over months, or even years before a report is made. Suffering with only the support of a few trusted friends or family members. With no end in sight. Is it any wonder then that there would be harmful effects on one’s life?

How Stalking Hurts

Each incoming text, notification, or phone call might be them. Going to the shop, walking to your car after work, dining out with friends could each mean you “bump” into your stalker. Suddenly, a life that had been open, filled with connections and options becomes smaller, or at least more threatening. Victims often can never go back to a “normal” life, even once stalking has ended.

Psychological effects are common. Anxiety, depression, agoraphobia may develop. Difficulties with memory or attention can occur. Elevated stress can change one’s ability to cope with and engage in social exchanges. This, in turn, may bear on a victim’s job. Doubly so if a stalker’s behaviour becomes disruptive to a business. For as long as the stalking continues, a person’s financial stability, mental health, and physical well-being are at risk. Although physical violence only occurs in roughly one-third of cases, stalking is an alarming indicator of grave danger, for women in particular.

A study at the University of Gloucester examined 358 homicides in the UK from 2012-2014. The homicides chosen all involved a female victim and a male perpetrator. The researchers found that stalking behaviours were identifiable in 94% of cases. This clearly demonstrates the need for greater stalking awareness.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is an organisation dedicated to “reduc[ing] the risk of violence and aggression”. As part of its efforts, the Trust manages the National Stalking Helpline. Founded in 1986 by Paul and Diana Lamplugh after the disappearance of their daughter Suzy, it has focused on personal safety for over 30 years. Suzy Lamplugh Trust was “instrumental” in driving the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, one of the key pieces of legislation relating to stalking.

With others in the National Stalking Consortium, the Trust will be leading National Stalking Awareness Week 2019. The theme this year is “Stalking Steals Lives”, and the campaign runs Monday 8th April-Friday 12th April. The focus of the associated conference is “on the physical and mental impact of stalking and the role of the health sector in this insidious crime.”

What to Do

If you are being stalked, it is important that you seek help. There is too much at risk. In Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight we may be able to assist you directly.

Our You First Dorset Stalking Advocate can be reached at 0800 032 5204. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, Aurora New Dawn’s Stalking Service is available to you on 02392 479254.

If you are elsewhere, the National Stalking Helpline is available during the week on 0808 802 0300.

Should the situation require it, contact the police, and in an emergency you must dial 999.

YOU’s Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

These are the figures for The YOU Trust using the snapshot date of 5 April 2018. The figures set out below have been calculated using the standard methodologies used in the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. Please direct your inquiry to our Director of People and Learning if you have any questions about the below figures.

1) Mean gender pay gap

 

Male mean hourly rate

Female mean hourly rate

1.77%

 

10.53

10.34

2) Median gender pay gap

 

Male median hourly rate

Female median hourly rate

-1.94%

 

9.17

9.35

3) Mean bonus gender pay gap

 

Male mean bonus pay between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

Female mean bonus pay between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

62.26%

 

2,650.00

200.00

4) Median bonus gender pay gap

 

Male median bonus pay between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

Female median bonus pay between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

92.45%

 

2,650.00

200.00

5) Proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment

 

Number of males receiving a bonus between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

Number of relevant males in period

 

Number of females receiving a bonus between 6/4/17 and 5/4/18

Number of relevant females in period

 

 

2.00

136.00 (1.47%)

 

4.00

422.00 (0.90%)

6) Proportion of males and females in each quartile band

 

Employees in lower quartile

Female

Male

Employees in lower middle quartile

Female

Male

Employees in upper middle quartile

Female

Male

Employees in upper quartile

Female

Male

 

 

96

76 (79.17%)

20 (20.83%)

96

71 (73.96%)

25 (26.04%)

96

76 (79.17%)

20 (20.83%)

95

75 (78.95%)

20 (21.05%)

Social Prescribing Day – What It’s All About

Social Prescribing Day 2019

Times are changing. So, too, is the way that we address people’s health and wellbeing. Social Prescribing Day puts a spotlight on one effective new approach.

Many people feel isolated, lonely, or stressed. There are countless reasons for this, but whatever the cause, it leaves people unwell, and unhappy. Naturally, those who find themselves in this situation do what we’ve been taught to do when something is wrong – they go to their GP.

But it isn’t that simple. Life and health are complex. When the root cause of someone’s problem is not within their body, but in their life circumstances, doctors and medication don’t always help. GPs estimate that at least 25% of patients visit for these sorts of non-medical issues. This creates a disheartening cycle as GPs are unable to help, and people don’t feel any better. Moreover, with NHS resources strained, it means more than a quarter of appointments are being filled when other options would better serve those patients. Social prescribing is a promising solution.

What is Social Prescribing?

Well, if a doctor can’t help, what can be done? A great deal, fortunately! Social prescribing offers a way to help people identify what’s wrong, what they really want, and how to work towards that.

When someone is referred to a service like Social Prescribing Portsmouth, they will meet with a worker. In our service, these people are Community Health & Wellbeing Partners. Elsewhere, they may be link workers, community navigators, or hold a different title. Together, they will work with you to find ways to begin fixing what you feel is wrong.

This may involve putting you in touch with community groups, trying new things, or figuring out how to connect you with the things that matter most. Loneliness and anxiety can make each day feel heavy. Worse, they can make it harder to break out and do the very things that would most help one’s wellbeing. Social prescribing helps to break down these barriers by giving people a clear plan to move forward.

Healthy London Partnership have produced a short animated video that explains how social prescribing works, and the good that it can achieve:

Why We’re Celebrating Social Prescribing Day

Since Social Prescribing Portsmouth launched in November 2018, we have had more than 100 referrals to the service. That’s 100+ people who were feeling like something less than themselves. Who doctors couldn’t help. But, together with the community, we have helped them to work towards wellness. Whether by providing advice and guidance, uniting them with like-minded people, or otherwise reducing isolation, that’s over 100 people who have taken steps to have a better tomorrow, rather than feeling stuck.

And we think that’s something worth celebrating.

To learn more about social prescribing, and to see it in action, follow the official Social Prescribing Day hashtag, #SocialPrescribingDay on social media Thursday 14th March 2019.

Unique Dorset Refuge Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Delighted, the YOU Trust celebrates the 1st Anniversary of our independent, unique Dorset refuge. You First, YOU’s Hidden Violence and Abuse Services, operates the refuge in partnership with Sovereign Housing. We thank Sovereign for their continued support for this innovative project. Together, we provide a safe space for those unable to access a traditional refuge.

In contrast to norms, the project supports and provides refuge to men. It also accepts women with teenage boys (over the age of 15), LGBTQ+ couples, and couples fleeing Honour-Based Violence. Further, we provide bespoke domestic abuse support to the community in our group room and drop-in space.

First Year Impact of Our Dorset Refuge

The refuge received more than 30 referrals for accommodation in its first year. Consequently, we supported couples fleeing Honour-Based Violence, women with older male children, and fathers with children. Significantly, this service has provided safe housing for men escaping domestic abuse. This included people in same sex relationships and those identifying as LGBTQ+.

YOU provides individual, innovative services, bespoke to each person. We can support many more people fleeing domestic violence and abuse through our independent Dorset refuge. Amazing partnership work in Dorset has made this remarkable achievement possible. It is also down to the brilliant support we have from so many people and groups in the community.

Tonia Redvers, Head of Hidden Violence and Abuse Services at YOU, said “I am thrilled that working in partnership with Sovereign for many years has resulted in being able to offer safe spaces and individual support to everyone in our communities. We have long advocated for safe accommodation for people unable to access traditional refuges. Sovereign’s belief in our vision has made this a reality.  Further, the Dorset team’s work with national partners such as Karma Nirvana has been very positive.”

Katie Bielec, Service Manager for You First Dorset said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for those who are experiencing domestic abuse and need to leave their homes. We have been incredibly lucky to have such support from our partner agencies and the community to run this refuge. We are proud of the work we have achieved. Without this provision, our clients may have had to stay in an abusive home facing escalating risk.”

Reflecting on the difference that the service has made, residents jointly stated: “Everyone matters. You’re not alone. Everyone feels as if they are valued, regardless of who you are. It gave us hope.”

The Power of Partnership Working and Community Support

Helen Hann, Sovereign Housing Divisional Director, commented on the project. “We’re delighted that the YOU Trust is providing such a valuable service in North Dorset and that so many families and individuals have been supported with safe and secure accommodation, regardless of sex or gender, thanks to this initiative.

“This site emphasises Sovereign’s commitment to working with valued partners in the provision of housing for people with specific support needs. We’ll continue to work closely with the YOU Trust and other providers in the future.”

We welcomed Councillor Roger Carter, Town Mayor for Blandford, to the service. Following his visit, he said: “Many people are aware of refuges for women – sometimes with children – who have suffered intolerable abuse and need safe places to recuperate and, with targeted help, rebuild their lives.

“What is less well known is that there are many vulnerable men who have also suffered similar abuse and require the same safe places and the same help. We are fortunate in Blandford, long known for its friendliness and hospitality, to have such a refuge run by the YOU Trust that does just this.

“It was a great pleasure for me to help them celebrate being open for a year and to witness first-hand the wonderful work they do rebuilding lives. I wish the refuge continued success, perhaps with proper government recognition, in the years to come.”

Reaching You First

Over the last 4 years across Dorset, You First has supported more than 4,000 women, men and children. We’ve done this whilst also providing guidance and support to family and friends. Whereas traditional refuges might exclude you, our Dorset refuge might offer a solution, depending upon your circumstance.

You First’s dedicated team will help anyone experiencing domestic violence and abuse in Dorset. Anyone wanting advice and support can call the 24-hour free phone number, 0800 032 5204. If you know or suspect someone lives with domestic abuse, You First can give you advice on how to support that person.

In an emergency, call 999.

Addressing Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse

As the new provider for Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse and Sexual Crime services, You First faces real challenges. For example, the number of sexual offences recorded on the Island was four times higher in 2018 than 2003. Over the same period, stalking and harassment offences grew by more than 14 times. Together, police recorded 1,366 such offences for the year ending September 2018. Often, these occur within a relationship. Clearly, there is a great need to face these issues head on.

Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse – It’s Not OK

Sadly, the number of people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence is much larger, due to chronic under-reporting. Many groups and campaigns have pressed these issues to the public. As a result, the subject has become less taboo. Notably, the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership is supporting events for one such campaign this week.

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week seeks to give victims a voice and to highlight that It’s Not OK. It’s Not OK for people to commit these crimes; It’s Not OK that people affected by sexual abuse in a relationship feel unable to access help; and, It’s Not OK for any of us to stand by and allow this to continue.

Individuals, organisations, and voluntary agencies are using the hashtag #ItsNotOK on social media. Through this, they are sharing their stories, information, and details of related events. If you would find it helpful, please explore these posts.

Developing Our Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse Services

While we are professionals, we passionately believe that stopping sexual violence is everyone’s business. A new definition of domestic abuse in the Government’s draft domestic abuse bill and community-based approaches offer hope. The YOU Trust has secured grant funding to bring two proven programmes to the Island.

Firstly, the funding will help us to reach people affected by sexual violence in isolated communities. The Dragonfly Project, which we have run in Dorset, works to weave a network of support within the fabric of a community. To this end, people and businesses receive training to become befrienders, or champions. In that role, they listen and offer support, providing victims with the information they need to move forward.

The second of these new additions is the growth of Hampshire’s Making Safe Scheme. Under the scheme, where risk-appropriate, security measures are added to one’s home. As a result, those who might otherwise have to flee due to risk of domestic violence can instead remain in their home. This offers cost-savings for agencies and local authorities. But, most importantly, it lessens the disruption of the lives of the people and children affected by domestic abuse, whilst keeping them safe.

Where to Turn

If you think you might be or suspect someone else might be experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence, we can help. Whether you just have questions, or you need support, our team will be glad to assist.

Call 0800 234 6266, or e-mail youfirstIOW@theyoutrust.org.uk.

Finally, if it is an emergency, dial 999 immediately.

£1.3m Grant As Government Reveals Domestic Abuse Bill

Domestic Violence Grant Funding for The YOU Trust from MHCLG

Government Releases Landmark Draft Domestic Abuse Bill

Domestic abuse is a traumatic crime that often occurs where safety should be taken for granted. For example, in one’s home or in a once loving relationship. It makes home a place of danger, not safety – even without physical harm. The government’s recently published draft Domestic Abuse Bill recognises these hidden threats. For the first time, the statutory definition of domestic abuse would include coercive control, manipulation, and economic forms of non-physical abuse.

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “The draft Domestic Abuse bill recognises the complex nature of these horrific crimes and puts the needs of victims and their families at the forefront.”

This is an important step because it would bring the law closer to the reality people live with. Likewise, it will help agencies to better protect people affected by domestic violence.

£1.3m MHCLG Grant for Domestic Abuse

The YOU Trust has helped to secure £1,297,125 to support those experiencing domestic abuse in Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. YOU were part of an innovative project bid led by Hart District Council.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government sought bids that would keep domestic abuse victims safe in their own homes. They also focused on early interventions and preventive measures because this is key to achieving lasting change. The grant will continue and grow the successful Making Safe Scheme, launched in 2015.

Under the scheme, YOU Trust outreach workers add security measures into homes where someone is at risk. Firstly, the MHCLG grant funds an 18-month extension of the scheme. Secondly, it brings the effective practice to Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Finally, it allows new initiatives to be tried.

YOU’s Dorset-based Isolated Communities Engagement Project (Dragonfly Project) will expand to West Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The project builds support into the community, empowering victims and enabling earlier intervention. A bespoke Health team will work across hospital and GP surgeries, and out in the community. We hope that victims will come forward, confident in finding the support they need due to the new definition laid out in the draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

Additional bed spaces will be available in refuges within all three counties for those who need to flee. Further, YOU has opened an independent refuge for single men, men with children and couples escaping domestic abuse. Another benefit of the funding is that it pays for 22 additional health workers, domestic abuse specialists, and refuge workers.

Why Funding Matters

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of survivors and their families. It is our duty to ensure survivors can seek help by providing the support they need to restart their lives.

Through providing specialist accommodation and access to employment, this fund will make sure local authorities and charities can provide a strong safety net for anyone facing the threat of abuse in their own home.”

Tonia Redvers, Head of Hidden Violence and Counselling Services at YOU said, “We are thrilled that our work continues to receive national recognition whilst we work so well with our local partners. With local funding reducing and the threat of diminished refuge bed spaces, this funding is vital to ensure there is a place for anyone who needs help and support or is escaping violence and abuse.”

If domestic abuse affects you, access free, confidential support by calling:

Hampshire 0800 916 9878

Dorset 0800 032 5204

Isle of Wight 0800 234 6266

In an emergency, please dial 999.