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Survivors Help with Pathways To Justice Report

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Five survivors of domestic abuse who are involved with our Survivors' Forum, met with an Ipsos MORI researcher in April 2015 to contribute to research for the Ministry of Justice study 'The Varying Pathways To Justice'.

The research has been published and is available on the Government website GOV.UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/484182/varying-paths-to-justice.pdf

Thank you to those who contributed and it's great to know the Survivors Forum has been able to contribute to a very worthwhile piece of research.

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New Domestic Abuse Law from 29th December 2015

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The changes to UK criminal law now mean that a sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine can be given to perpetrators of emotional and psychological abuse.  Until now only offences of physical assault could be prosecuted. 

If a victim suffers serious alarm or distress that impacts on their day-to-day life or if there have been at least 2 occasions where they have been in fear of violence then the Police and Crown Prosecution Service can now charge and prosecute as a result of coercive and controlling behaviour getting recognition under criminal law.

There are concerns that the Police fail to arrest, and the CPS fail to prosecute cases of physical violence, so how they will evidence and prosecute often subtle emotional abuse that victims themselves frequently struggle to recognise or "prove" even to themselves?

Also that the issue of domestic abuse is totally misunderstood if physical and emotional abuse are seen as separate offences - every case of domestic abuse has coercive controlling behaviour at its core, physical violence is only one method of behaviour used by some perpetrators of domestic abuse to gain control.  Many victims of domestic homicides have been murdered by a partner or former partner who never previously used any physical violence.

It is also common for coercive and controlling perpetrators to extend their methods beyond just their victim to include extended family, friends and professionals and this can make them very effective in hiding and manipulating in multiple ways.  Recognising behaviour as coercive with the intention of gaining control is essential and the risks that some professionals may not see this or misunderstand what is happening or believe it to be unintentional raises risks for victims and survivors.

Domestic abuse is a complex issue.  Specialist domestic abuse services like HOMETRUTHS are essential in ensuring victims and survivors receive the individual support to recognise and understand their experience of abuse and then the correct help to ensure they are safe.

Often the generic services that have limited knowledge and understanding can make uninformed decisions that can impact negatively on a victim or their ability to stay safe.

There is also the additional concern that there isn't a similar change to the Family Court System that can make its own rulings about whether or not domestic abuse happened and decide how or even if this impacts on the children and then decide how perpetratros have access with the children.  Emotional abuse using children as a tool of manipulation is extremely common and it often continues once a relatonship has ended when perpetrators are able to use Family Courts as a route to continued contact with an ex-partner through child contact.

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Huge Thank You to Zurich!

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A HUGE THANK YOU to Zurich for helping us to have a Christmas Party for the children of the service users we have supported in 2015.

Party food and games, a visit from Santa and then we went to watch Snow White - the Panto at The Wyvern Theatre.

A brilliant time was had by everyone - a special thank you to Jo and Aaren from Zurich and to our Volunteers Sam, Sue, Callum, Sian and Denise!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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Talking About Our New Life in Harmony Project

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Listen to BBC Wiltshire Radio Breakfast Show in the morning to hear us talking about our new Life In Harmony Project and hear the story of one of our ex-service users sharing her experience of domestic abuse.  Life In Harmony is a new 3 year project for pregnant women and mothers with young babies who are exeriencing abuse or violence from their partner or ex-partner.

We will be on the air just after 10am speaking to presenter Jonathan Morell.

 

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High Flyer Michelle's Successful Skydive

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Congratulations to Michelle for a successful skydive on Sunday 22nd November.  Braving the cold, Michelle took to the skys over Wanborough's Redlands Airfield and her first ever jump went very smoothly. 

Michelle really enjoyed herself and has raised £400 for HOMETRUTHS to help fund a NEWBEGINNINGS course next year, which supports women to regain their confidence and self-esteem following domestic abuse.

A massive thank you to Michelle for being so supportive and raising more money to help other women who are experiencing abuse and violence from partners or ex-partners - it's fantastic to see how well she is doing.

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Please Support Michelle in Flying High!

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Michelle will be doing a skydive on Saturday 15th November to raise funds for HOMETRUTHS.

We really appreciate her taking such a brave step and would like as many people as possible to support her in raising her target of £500.

If you are able to, please make a donation and/or share the following link with as many as people as possible to show Michelle we are right behind her!

https://www.gofundme.com/mbenwell

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Family Fun Day Saturday 7th Nov @ Toothill

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We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at Toothill Church for a Family Fun Day.  Any profits will go towards HOMETRUTHS.  There will be a bouncy castle, face painting, a raffle, refreshments and a visit from Spiderman!

It will start at 1pm and finsh at 4pm and we hope to see as many people as possible.  Please share with your friends and family.

 

 

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Michelle's Fundraiser is a great success!!

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Michelle's Fundraising event held today at the Jovial Monk in Swindon was a huge success.  A really good turn out of stall holders and lots of people coming in throughout the event.

¬£469.85 was raised which is an incredible amount!!!  We can't thank Michelle enough for all her effort, energy and hard work and a a huge thank you to everyone who donated and supported the event

Read more in today's adver: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/13839286.Fun_day_raises_vital_funds_for_domestic_abuse_survivor_organisation_Hometruths/

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Michelle's Fundraiser in October

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We look forward to seeing you at Michelle's fundraising event on 10th October.

There will be a wide range of local crafts and stalls and pampering opportunities for only £2 entrance fee:

Amongst others there will be a candle stall by Laura Partylite’s, reiki and massage treatments by G & M World of Esoteric, Lynsara Jewellery stall, spiritual readings by Synchronicity and a wide range of children’s books for sale from Kathryn’s Childrens Books stall.

There will also be a raffle with fabulous prizes such as tickets to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, 1-2-1 swimming lesson at Wanborough Swim School and a term of free classes at Energetix Academy!

Michelle has done an amazing job of organising the event which promises to be a fun packed afternoon.

A HUGE thank you to Michelle and we hope you can all come along and support the event.

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£1050 from John Lewis Shoppers!

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A huge thank you to all the John Lewis, Swindon shoppers who put their green tokens towards HOMETRUTHS in the Community Matters Scheme.  We were thrilled to receive ¬£1050! 

Erika, a Volunteer with HOMETRUTHS accepted the cheque yesterday.

This is an amazing amount of money and will go towards our NEWBEGINNINGS group for women who are no longer in abusive relationships who are looking at building their self-esteem and personal identity.

Many survivors of domestic abuse feel fearful of the future after coming out of abusive relationships and it can feel very daunting to know where to begin to pick life up again.  It will be really great to be able to offer this group later in the year.

 

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Reaching Women in Swindon!

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HOMETRUTHS is really pleased to continue to work with the Health Lottery who are currently funding us to reach out to women living in areas throughout Swindon who are experiencing domestic abuse.

If you are on facebook please like our community page and get updates on our work in the town: https://www.facebook.com/hometruths.reachinwomenswindon?ref=hl

If you are interested in helping to raise awareness of domestic abuse and would like to find out more about Reach-In Women, Swindon project please get in touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   01793 617589 or 07999 494723.

 

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Fantastic Feedback From Freedom!

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We have recently finished the latest Freedom Programmes in Swindon and Calne, Wiltshire and have had excellent feedback from the attendees of both groups:

"Before this my life was a mess and out of control.  I feared for my life!  The Freedom has helped me understand what's right from wrong. I've become strong and independent.  I feel like I can now move forward in life and recognise abuse.  I'm a happier woman now and always have the friends I have made in this group :)"

"Before coming to the Freedom Programme I felt miserable, anxious and trapped in a relationship I desperately wanted to leave.  The programme has enabled me to end this safely and has totally changed my life.  Without it I wouldn't have known how to end this or that I could.  Thank you so much Kim & Mary."

"I feel this is somewhere people understand, other 'real women' going through similar experiences and struggling with similar thought processes.  It helps combat the isolation and sense of 'I must be mad' that the abuse creates."

"This is the only place I feel understood, believed and respected.  HOMETRUTHS is the only agency I trust."

"Since coming to the Freedom Programme it has helped me to find myself again and made me a stronger person.  I have never felt so strong."

"This project has meant I can have hope that I will be able to move forward with my life and be the confident person I used to be.  Kim has been fundamental in helping me to make decisions however difficult and to see situations as they really are."

"I have gained so much - confidence, friends, support.  Amazing group - fantastic people!  Caring and feel cared for and see that we all have the equal support."

"It has had such a positive effect on my mental wellbeing.  The women in the group are so brave and inspirational and positive."

We will be running Freedom Programmes again later this year.  If you would like to find out more or would like to come along please get in touch.

Call or text 07999 494723            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.           01793 617589

 

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1 in 3 people don't know ex-partners can experience domestic abuse

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Research by Citizens Advice has found that 1 in 3 people don't know that ex-partners can experience domestic abuse.  The common belief is that people have to been in a relationship and living together.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11711343/Domestic-abuse-1-in-3-dont-know-about-violence-between-ex-partners.html

HOMETRUTHS supports as many people who are experiencing domestic abuse form an ex-partner as those who are in a relationship and experiencing it.  Domestic abuse can begin very early in a relationship and many people we have supported have only been in short relationships before the control and abuse begins.

Myths about having to be married or living together, or have been together a long time, can prevent victims of domestic abuse from recognising what they are experiencing and getting the right help and support.

At HOMETRUTHS we can help anyone to look at what they are going through and support them in understanding what domestic abuse is and recognise what this means for them.  If you want the opportunity to talk through what you are experiencing or ask any questions to help understand please contact us:

01793 617589

07999 494723

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Flaws Found in National Data

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Research by Professor Sylvia Walby has found flaws in the way National Statistics are recorded, leading to grossly underestimated incidences of violence against women.  In particualr domestic violence.

In the following article by Polly Neate, Chief Executive of national charity Women's Aid, it is argued that capping the number of crimes recorded after only 5 repeat incidents leads us to ignore the repeat victimisation of women, which leads to a gender-neutral approach to domestic abuse and an erosion of services for women victims of domestic abuse.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11666990/Domestic-abuse-and-violence-is-not-gender-neutral.-Wake-up-Britain.html

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Contribute to the Tenant Scrutiny Panel

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A Tenant Scrutiny Panel from across England is getting together to ask what impact the new Government will have on social housing and on tenants.  At the CIH conference fringe in Manchester this June, they‚Äôll be interviewing decision makers, cutting through the spin to find out what‚Äôs what.  Before that, they need your help! 

If you have ten minutes, please fill in this online questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ScrutinyLiveNTO

If you have longer, you can answer their questions more fully by commenting on the blog post on www.scrutinylive.wordpress.com.

You can also follow the panel on Twitter @scrutinylive or email them on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Scrutiny Live group is:

  •          Carole Burchett, Chair, Tenant Scrutiny Group, Soha Housing; Board member, TPAS
  •          Vera Anderton, TMT Scrutiny team member, New Charter
  •          Kiera Winstanley, Tenant Scrutiny Group member, Community Gateway
  •          Nic Bliss, tenant, 20/20 Housing Co-op; Head of Policy, Confederation of Cooperative Housing

Supported by the Centre for Public Scrutiny and TPAS

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Support us in John Lewis, Swindon

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If you, or someone you know is shopping at John Lewis on Telford Way, Swindon over the next couple of months, please look out for us in their Community Matters Scheme and put your green token into the HOMETRUTHS box.

We are really pleased to have been chosen to be part of the green token scheme and really appreciate everyone's support so please share the word amongst any family or friends who shop in the store.

Thank you very much.

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£2,500 Fund Raised by Monahans, Swindon

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We are thrilled to have recently received a donation from the Swindon office of Monahan's Accountants of £2,500.

The team at Monahans have been fund raising for the past year to support HOMETRUTHS in providing domestic abuse services in the town and we can't thank them enough for choosing us!

This is an amazing amount of funding and it will go a long way to make a real difference for the survivors of domestic abuse living in Swindon.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone at Monahans who helped raise so much funding!

 

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Contributing to Ipsos MORI Research

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Thank you very much to the 5 HOMETRUTHS' Service Users who recently met with a researcher from Ipsos MORI - www.ipsos-mori.com

We are really pleased to be able to support national research and very proud of the service users who shared their thoughts and experiences and contributed towards creating change across the country for other survivors of domestic abuse.

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Thank You Intel, Swindon for Donating over £300

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A HUGE THANK YOU to the charity fundraising team at Intel who have made a donation of over £300 to HOMETRUTHS.

We really appreciate your support and without funding we would not be able to provide domestic abuse services in Swindon and Wiltshire.

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Service User Bravely Speaking out on Radio 4 Woman's Hour

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Jenni Murray presenter of Radio 4's Woman's Hour, is discussing whether Juries should be briefed about rape and sexual violence myths at the beginning of trials for sexual offences.

We are very proud to hear one of our service users bravely talking about her experience of giving evidence in a Crown Court trial against her ex-husband. 

Listen again to hear both sides of the debate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb

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