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Help Rights of Women Monitor Impact of Legal Aid Cuts

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rights of womenOn April 1st 2013 the Government brought in new Legal Aid rules for Family Law. Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Rights of Women are monitoring the impact on women and they are running an anonymous on-line survey. 

If you have been to a solicitor or have tried to see a solicitor, since April 2013 please help their research by completing the survey - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8XXJVY2

Research to date has shown women have found it difficult to access legal aid solicitors according to Family Law UK.

 

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It's 3 weeks until One Billion Rising.

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OBR FB ImageJoin us in 3 weeks time on Feb 14th to dance in support of ending global violence against women and girls and this year's theme is rising for justice.

Have a look at the One Billion Rising webpage at what others consider justice to look like:http://www.onebillionrising.org/share/invisible-support-services-kims-story/

This story is particularly powerful as HOMETRUTHS is an organisation without local council or national government funding and we have to fundraise for all the activities and services we provide in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Thank you to all the people who support us and make donations.  If you would like to support our work please make a donation using the Localgiving.com button at the bottom of the page, because 1 in 4 women expereinces domestic abuse in her lifetime - that could be you, your daughter, sister, friend, wife, partner, cousin, mother, aunt, grandmother, neighbour or colleague and we are here to provide support, information, risk assessment, safety planning, groups such as the Freedom Programme and we need your help to do this.   

Thank you.

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Children of Domestic Abuse Victims Increasingly Being Taken into Care

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domestic-violence-008The Family Rights Group claims that children with a parent who suffers from domestic violence are increasingly likely to be at risk of being taken into care.

They say that the cuts to local domestic abuse and family support services, compounded by welfare reforms means that families are more likely to be split up because they can no longer get specialist help.

Data suggests that domestic violence has out stripped parental mental illness or drug and alcohol misuse as the most common under lying factor behind child protection intervention.

Read more in the following article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/15/children-domestic-violence-parents-care

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One Billion Rising for Justice!!

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One Billion Rising is a global event inviting people across the world to rise up in support of ending violence against women and girls through coming together in a public place and dancing!

In 2013 we had a fantastic event in Swindon's town centre and we are arranging an event for 2014.  The international theme of One Billion Rising 2014 is rising for Justice. 

Follow this link to the OBR event page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingSwindonandWiltshire

Like and share the page and spread the news about the event.  Anyone interested in getting involved please get in touch through facebook, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us: 01793 617589 and leave your details.

 

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Police Inspectorate On-Line Survey for Victims of Domestic Abuse

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The Home Secretary has requested the HMIC - Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, to conduct a review of how Police forces respond to Domestic Abuse.

The purpose of the survey is to gather information from people who have experienced domestic abuse in the last 12 months and to find out what they think of the way in which the police responded.

If you would like to do the on-line survey please click this link and follow the questions:

https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix2/p1698232762.aspx?utm_source=CAADA+Mailchimp+Database&utm_campaign=1aa40be48f-HMIC_victim_survey1_14_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8480a90584-1aa40be48f-315343457

All answers are confidential and anonymous.

The closing date of the survey is 26th January 2014.

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One Billion Rising 2014

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After the fantatsic success of our One Billion Rising Event in Swindon in February last year, we are busy arranging our 2014 event for Swindon.

If anyone is interested in helping organise it or wants to some along and dance on the day in support of ending violence against women across the world then please get in touch.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01793 617589 or follow updates on facebook https://www.facebook.com/hometruths.swindon

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Barristers & Solicitors Walk Out Today in Protest at Legal Aid Cuts

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Lawyers-protest-against-t-008

Today sees the first ever walk out by Barristers and Solicitors who are withdrawing their labour from criminal courts this morning with the aim of forcing a re-think of the Government's plan to cut Legal Aid by a further 30%.

The warning from the Barristers and Solicitors taking action include: lower quality legal representation, miscarriages of justices and more offenders walking free from court.

Read more in the following article: Barristers and Solicitors Walk Out

 

 

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New Freedom Programme Starting in January 2014

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Freedom Poster January 2014 0001

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HOMETRUTHS Supports Proposal to Make Domestic Abuse a Crime in the UK

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Scales of Justice

MPs from all parties are backing a new bill proposal to provide a legal framework for criminalising Domestic Abuse in the UK.

Currently there is no specific offence of domestic abuse and perpetrators can only be charged with a specific crime such as battery and assault, rape, harassment etc, however under this new proposal domestic abuse would become a specific offence allowing for examination of an offenders pattern of behaviour and course of conduct over a period of time, rather than prosecuting for one target offence such as actual bodily harm (ABH).

The new law would define domestic abuse as "intentionally, wilfully or recklessly causing, or attempting to cause, physical injury or psychological harm to a person" and would carry a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison.

It may come as a surprise to many that domestic abuse isn't already a criminal offence in its own right, and the move behind the decision to propose this new bill is driven by the low conviction rates of perpetrators of domestic abuse.

HOMETRUTHS strongly supports the proposal and would welcome the new criminal legisaltion to assist in keeping survivors and victims of domestic abuse and their children safe from harm, and also bring about a consequence to perpetrators.  We feel this new legislation would bring about a level of societal change in acknowledging domestic abuse as a crime and sentencing appropriate to the harm it causes in the lives of survivors and their families.

Read more in the following Guardain Article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/28/domestic-violence-new-law-jail-term

 

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HOMETRUTHS' Children's Christmas Party 2013

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Xmas Party 2013

  

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Kate and Jo from Zurich Cares for helping us with our Children's Christmas Party 2013.  Thanks to all their fundraising efforts and time we were able to give a gift to 30 children whose Mum's have received support from HOMETRUTHS and used our services in 2013.

Also a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Santa and Mrs Claus for arranging party games and activities - we wouldn't have been able to do it without you, and after party food and games and a visit from Santa all the children and their mums were able to go to the Swindon pantomime Jack and The Bean Stalk staring Keith Chegwin, again thanks to Zurich's fundraising efforts. 

Another MASSIVE THANK YOU to Sarah who organised a Christmas Raffle in aid of HOMETRUTHS and raised ÂŁ40 towards the Freedom Programme 2014.

A fantastic afternoon was had by all and it is a really lovely way to start Christmas!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

 

 

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Christmas Fayre at the Parks!

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Xmas Fayre 2013

HOMETRUTHS had a stall at the Christmas Fayre in the Parks area of Swindon yesterday.  We had a really fun afternoon and met lots of families and raised awareness of domestic abuse in the run up to Christmas.

Lots of people experiencing domestic abuse feel an added pressure to make things ok for their children and any family or friends they see over the Christmas holiday, whilst dealing with the abuse from controlling and violent partners or ex-partners.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a free 24 hour helpline that can be accessed throughout the Christmas Period 0808 2000 247.

If anyone is in immediate danger ring the Police on 999.

 

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Swindon Choir Fundraising for HOMETRUTHS on Dec 15th at Outlet Village

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If you are shopping on Sunday 15th December at the Farmers Market, Swindon Outlet Village, Rodbourne between 11am and 12 noon, listen out for Swindon Choir singing Christmas carols and raising funds for HOMETRUTHS!!

They are fabulous singers and all donations will be very appreciated.

 

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Christmas Shop Online and Raise Funds for HOMETRUTHS

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With Christmas fast approaching and thoughts about present buying and christmas shopping, please consider raising funds for HOMETRUTHS without any additional cost to yourself if you shop online.

Register with easyfundraising.org.uk and click HOMETRUTHS as your charity to support and then a percentage of the price of your purchases is paid to HOMETRUTHS by the online shops.

Follow this link and register today to support survivors of domestic abuse in Swindon and Wiltshire, thank you very much!

www.easyfundraising.org.uk

 

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Brave HOMETRUTHS' Client Talks to Local Press

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Speaking out about domestic violence and abuse is very difficult for most people to do.  Finding the right person to tell who can understand and give the right help and support is not always easy, and many of our clients tell us they were silenced for a long time after speaking to someone who they hoped could help but who ended up not understanding, making wrong judgements about the situation or about them as a person or who maybe tried to help but it only made things worse.

Melanie spoke to HOMETRUTHS about her situation on the advice of her GP and of her colleague at work and we were able to support her in becoming safe and moving on with her life.  Her partner had broken her leg and then told her to lie about how it happened and she was too scared to tell anyone what really happened.

HOMETRUTHS' IDVA Service carries out risk assessment, safety planning and provides information, support and advocacy for victims of domestic abuse who are experiencing serious harm or who feel their life is at risk from their partner or ex-partner.

Melanie has very bravely spoken to the local Swindon Advertiser about her experience of domestic abuse and hopes this will help at least one other woman to contact HOMETRUTHS and speak about what is happening within her relationship.

Read Melanie's Story in the following link:

pdfMelanie's Story.pdf336.68 KB

pdfMelanie's Story pg 2.pdf505.72 KB 

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Theresa May, Home Secretary, announces national role out of Clare's Law & Go Order Police Schemes

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Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality, Theresa May MP, announced in parliament today national roll-out of Domestic Violence Protection Orders, commonly referred to as Go Orders, and Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as CLare's Law.

Both schemes have been piloted in specific areas of the UK including Wiltshire, and they are now set to roll-out across the rest of the country.  Read more in Theresa May's written statement to parliament:https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/domestic-violence-protection-orders-and-domestic-violence-disclosure-scheme

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25-29th Nov Domestic Violence Awareness Week

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The South West Domestic Violence Awareness Week begins tomorrow.

Visit our facebook page and like us and share with your friends to spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/hometruths.swindon

We have 166 likes today - lets reach 200 by the end of the week!!

Thank you :)

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HOMETRUTHS Women's Event in The Parks, Swindon

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20131101 111712   20131101 144235    2013-11-01 16.16.20

 

A massive thank you to everyone who Volunteered to make today’s event in St John’s Church, Whitbourne Avenue, Swindon such a brilliant day including: Kate, Shannon, Shilpa, Zoe, Ellie, Claire, Christen, Jacqui, Christiana, Danielle, Denise, Carol, Lynne and Marcella.

We had over 80 women and their children come along to enjoy lots of activities including: hand massage, hair styling, henna hand painting, face painting, arts and crafts. Thank you to Marcella who made a lovely HOMETRUTHS cake which was served with tea and coffee.

Everyone has said what a great time they had and how much their children enjoyed themselves as well.

Thank you to Reverend Linda and her team for helping to make the day go so well and for providing such a great community venue.

Thank you also to Lisa's Paint Pot for making such a beautiful display board, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/lisaspaintpot and have a look at her amazing artwork.

 

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S.O.S Project Mobile Phone Amnesty Update.

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Thank you very much to everyone who has donated mobile phones so far to the S.O.S Mobile Phone Amnesty.  mobile phones

Modern mobile phones are very easy to track - the attached link is written by Ben Goldacre from The Guardian who describes pdfHow_I_stalked_my_girlfriend.pdf147.29 KB.

We are really pleased to be able to offer women a "new" phone either if they believe theirs has been tracked, or if it has been broken or if their partner never allowed them to have a phone of their own.  Having a new phone that hasn't been tracked makes a massive difference in helping to keep women safe who are being stalked by ex-partners and gives them immediate access to the Police.

In particular we would like to thank Maria from Royal Wootton Bassett who has sent a box full of phones and chargers!

We asked Maria what had prompted her to be so generous with her donation and she said HOMETRUTHS’ Mobile Phone Amnesty “Firstly, gives a new life to an old phone that's just cluttering up the place and it’s an excellent way of reusing resources and I'm all for reusing stuff in a valid way.” But she also has supported friends who have survived domestic abuse, and is also aware of the death of the daughter of someone who lives in her community. “People tend to think only of physical violence, and not about mental cruelty, and psychological issues.  These often go unaddressed, leaving women extremely vulnerable and with low self-esteem, no confidence, and a very depressive cycle begins. Women need to be empowered to understand that was is happening to them is not normal, not acceptable, and that there are people who care and will help.”

Thanks Maria, and if anyone else is able to donate their old phones please get in touch.

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Robert Buckland MP met with TEARS Group today.

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Robert Buckland MP for South Swindon met with the TEARS Survivors' Forum today.  Robert B

HOMETRUTHS facilitated the meeting between Robert Buckland and ten survivors of domestic abuse and stalking.  Robert was instrumental in bringing about the new stalking law that was introduced in England and Wales in November last year, and most of the attendees had experienced stalking and harassment from their ex-partners either during or following their relationship. 

Robert Buckland helped launch an independent parliamentary enquiry into stalking law reform.  In his speech to the House of Commons a year ago when consideration was given to the Lords Amendments to the Protection of Freedom s Bill, he described stalking as: "...emotional terrorism; it is a crime of control, a crime of manipulation, and, yes, a crime of violence."

Today Robert talked about the Paladin National Helpline for victims of stalking, the All Parliamentary Group with which he is actively involved and the importance of training police officers, prosecutors, Judges and Magistrates and other professionals.  This was felt strongly by the TEARS group who suggested that they feel "worried to mention it to people other than HOMETRUTHS as no-one else understands."

He was interested to here about the S.O.S - Survivors of Stalking Project HOMETRUTHS is developing and talked about ways we can work together around the issue of stalking within domestic abuse.

Other matters discussed included: changes to Legal Aid, the impact of domestic abuse on the Family Court processes around children, evidencing domestic abuse and stalking within the Criminal Justice System, and the impact of domestic abuse on work and employers.

TEARS enjoyed meeting with Robert Buckland and went away with details of his Friday Surgeries and email address to enable future contact.

After Rober Buckland, Michelle Matthews, Locality Lead Facilitator for North Central Swindon met with the TEARS Group to talk about the role of the Locality Leads in Swindon.  There are 7 in total and their role is to connect the community of Swindon with the local council.  Michelle explained how community groups like TEARS can connect further with the local areas and talked about some of the groups and projects her Locality Team work with currently.

Thank you very much to both Robert Buckland and Michelle Matthews for coming to meet with the TEARS Survivors' Forum.

We will be meeting again in a couple of months - any survivors of domestic abuse living in Swindon who would be interested in attending please contact us on: 01793 617589 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

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HOMETRUTHS in the Malmesbury Standard

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HOMETRUTHS have been featured in the Wiltshire & Gloucester Standard, as we support more survivors of domestic abuse in the rural areas outside Swindon.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/northwilts/10733845.Help_for_victims_of_domestic_abuse_in_rural_areas/

malmesbury standard 

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