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TEARS Survivors' Forum

Giving Survivors of Domestic Abuse a Voice in Swindon!

TEARS (To End Abusive Relationships Safely - this name was thought of and chosen by the group itself) is a forum for survivors of domestic violence and abuse living in Swindon and surrounding areas.  We meet 6 times a year and bring together a group of survivors with professionals, organisations and agencies to improve and develop the services received by victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

It is a unique opportunity for survivors to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas and for professionals to hear first hand from the people who have lived with domestic abuse and used their services.  It is a confidential and safe environment for both survivors and professionals.

TEARS also aims to raise awareness and understanding of the needs of children living with or who have lived in a family where domestic abuse is happening, together with the impact on non-abusive parents who want to protect their children from the impact of domestic abuse.

HOMETRUTHS facilitates and organises the TEARS meetings.  We have developed the Survivors Forum over a number of years and have a guiding document in the form of a Terms of Reference, which the group members have contributed to and agreed upon - it is available upon request.  HOMETRUTHS' staff minute take the sessions and produce a report of each meeting, that can be made available to professionals and organisations interested in using the words of survivors to make improvements in Swindon.

TEARS is also a unique opportunity for organisations to consult with service users about practices, policies or future proposals which are likely to impact on survivors of domestic abuse.

Read this article in the Swindon Link Magazine on the importance of TEARS in Swindon: http://www.swindonlink.com/swindon_scene/giving-a-voice-to-survivors-of-domestic-abuse-in-swindon

TEARS supports and works towards the 'One Swindon' vision (to find out more about One Swindon http://www.swindonsp.org.uk/ssp-index/one_swindon.htm)

HOMETRUTHS, as an independent organisation, is also funded to support representatives from the TEARS Survivors' Forum to attend and engage with Swindon's Domestic Abuse Forum where professionals from statutory and voluntary agencies across Swindon meet to develop domestic abuse provision within the town.  The representatives have an agenda item to feedback about the discussions and outcomes of the TEARS meetings.  The Minutes from the Domestic Violence Forum feed into Swindon's Domestic Violence Steering Group and this enables TEARS to directly influence and exchange information with statutory and voluntary organisations in Swindon.

Members of the TEARS Survivors' Forum contribute to training events organised by HOMETRUTHS and talk to the media about the realities of domestic abuse for survivors and their children to improve public awareness and understanding.

"TEARS is a fantastic opportunity to use my experiences to make change and improve things for other survivors"

"I had no voice when I was living with domestic violence and I love the chance to have my say and feel listened to and respected for my opinions"

"You don't usually have the chance to speak to professionals on an equal footing, to ask questions or say it how it really is, and TEARS is a brilliant way to reach the people who make the decisions or who influence change in their organisations"

If you are a survivor of domestic abuse and you would like to find out more about TEARS or would like to talk about attending a TEARS meeting please contact HOMETRUTHS by phone or email.

TEARS' most recent meeting was on 21st October 2013.  Robert Buckland MP for South Swindon came to meet with the TEARS group followed by Michelle Matthews, Locality Lead Facilitator for North Central Swindon.

Our next meeting date is to be confirmed.

 "Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the  human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning."  Maya Angelou

pdfTEARS Leaflet.pdf124.83 KB

   

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