Victim Support is the independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Last year they offered support to nearly 1 million victims of crime. Victim Support provides the Homicide Service and runs more than 100 local projects tackling different types of crime.
Visit their site to find out how they can help. https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/east-england/bedfordshire
Join us in supporting them to help individuals and families affected by domestic abuse across Bedfordshire.
Sunday 25th November 2018 marks the start of 16 days of action against domestic abuse http://16daysofaction.co.uk/
It’s an internationally recognised campaign highlighting the issues of domestic abuse and raising awareness of the different forms it can take.
That’s not just abuse against women but also domestic abuse incidents involving men or children.
The 16 Days Campaign runs from the 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to the 10th December, Human Rights Day.
Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (BDAP) work together with services who are actively working to raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what is going on over the 16 days to raise awareness.This year our campaign is focusing at the Hidden Victims of Domestic Abuse.
The Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (BDAP) works across both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council. One of our main aims is to raise awareness of domestic abuse and we do this in a variety of ways. As well as our two tier training programme and our DA Champion Scheme we support numerous campaigns throughout the year.
16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign is an international awareness raising campaign aimed at galvanizing action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
The 16 days campaign starts on the 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women through to the 10th December, Human Rights Day.
On the 29th November 2017 Bedfordshire Victim Support is running a Charity Quiz night with money raised going to local services which support those affected by domestic abuse. The quiz will start at 7:30pm at The Pheasant Public House, Kimbolton Road, Bedford.
On the 30th November 2017 we are running a professionals event to continue to raise awareness on domestic abuse. The full day event will include a number of workshops run by partners and local service providers. These workshops are:
- Impact on children living in a violent home
- Forced Marriage and So Called ‘Honour’ Based Violence using the “Our Girl Toolkit”
- Harassment and stalking
- Working with perpetrators
- Gangs and girls
The event is free of charge and open to any professionals who work with those affected by domestic abuse, if you would like further details or to book a place please contact us at BDAP@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.
If you are affected or if you have working with someone affected by domestic abuse then help is available. Check our our ‘Get Help’ page to find details of both national and local support services https://centralbeds.wpengine.com/get-help/.
For 24/7 support contact the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247
Today is International Women’s Day (8th March), a day which is celebrated in many countries around the world and is a day when women are recognised for their achievements. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women. For information on the campaign – www.internationalwomensday.com.
Each year there is a different theme for the day, this year’s campaign asks us all to #BeBoldForChange, to help raise awareness and forge a more gender inclusive world. The Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership will be promoting this campaign on the 8th March, asking friends and colleagues what bold actions they will be taking to commit to accelerating gender equality. We will be regularly updating our social media so please follow us on Twitter @bedsdv or via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/bedsdv.
What bold action could you take? Could you volunteer to help for a local charity? Educate young people about positive relationships or maybe campaign for the prevention of violence.
We are also using this key date to re-launch our improved website. Following feedback from professionals and service users we have made a number of changes to our website. The most important being making it more user-friendly and interactive, allowing those visiting to find the information they need quickly.
In the last 6 months we have seen a significant increase in traffic to our website and we hope this increase will continue with the improvements we have made. We welcome feedback, so please take a good look around our website and let us know your feedback; you can contact us at BDAP@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.
The second phase of the Home Office’s Disrespect Nobody campaign will run from 2 February to the end of March 2017.
The aim of the campaign is to prevent young people, both boys and girls aged 12 to 18 years old from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships with a focus of the campaign being consent and sexting. Further information on the campaign can be found on www.disrespectnobody.co.uk.
What is consent? Consent means giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something and being comfortable with the decision. Consent has to be given freely and no one can be made to consent to something.
Consent is an essential part of healthy relationships. Both you and the person you’re with always need to consent before sex or any intimate activity.
What is sexting? Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video. Pressuring someone into sending a new pic can happen in any relationship and to anyone, whatever their age, gender or sexual preference.
Putting pressure on someone to send a nude pic, or sharing someone’s picture without their permission, even if it’s a friend and they say it’s just banter is wrong.
To find our more details on both subjects, including signs to spot and advice at www.disrespectnobody.co.uk
The Domestic Abuse team here at BDAP has been very busy over the ’16 Days of Activism against gender violence’ which came to a close on the 10thDecember, during this time we:
- Promoted the White Ribbon Campaign –a campaign which asks males to pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. A number of staff at Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council signed the pledge boards that were in receptions at both councils.
- Promoted the Women’s Aid Child First Campaign– calling on the Government and family courts to ensure there are no further avoidable child deaths as a result of unsafe child contact with a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
- Updated the www.centralbeds.wpengine.com website with a number of blog posts, including a survivor’s story. There has been a significant increase in traffic to the website with 442 people visiting during the 16 days an increase of 2004% on last year.
- Held two Professional Networking Events, which included presentations from Bedfordshire Police and the IDVA service and market stalls with staff promoting local domestic abuse support services.
- Held a pub quiz and two bake sales in conjunction with the IDVA service (Victim Support) which raised £929.08; this money will be donated to local domestic abuse support services
- A domestic abuse safeguarding briefing was delivered to local GPs
- Two awareness sessions were delivered to staff on the Freedom Programme – a group support programme for females who are, or have been in a relationship with an abusive partner.
- Developed a social media presence for the team – we are now on Twitter and slowly increasing our followers – @bedsdv
- Displayed information stalls in Priory House reception & Bedford Borough Hall for the duration of the 16 daysLisa the Domestic Abuse Team Manager said “The aim of the 16 days campaign is to increase awareness of gender violence, so seeing such a large increase in traffic to our website is a brilliant result. I would like to say a big thank you to the Domestic Abuse Team for all their hard work on this campaign, to our partners and service providers who have supported us and to our colleagues who have supported the campaign. We have been overwhelmed by colleagues support in terms of attending our events, baking, contributing raffle prizes and for putting their hands in their pockets. All this support means that over £900 will be going to our local service providers to support victims and their children during the festive period”.During the 16 days the Government have been making announcements about how they are supporting local government to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls as part of their Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy. The overarching theme of this year’s activity is on their work to support victims and encourage early intervention. The Government’s plans are all summarised here in the VAWG-Newsletter-Winter-2016
My name is L and I wanted to write a short description of how Stotfold & District Children’s Centre and The Freedom Programme has been a massive aid to myself and my children over the last 6 months.
In February 2009 I met a man who I believed was good, honest and caring. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case as I started to realise quite early on in the relationship. He became paranoid and questioned everything I did, trying to control me.
I was naive and young and believed it was because he loved me. In July 2009 the first physical incident happened and I listened to his apologetic nature and went back to him within a couple of weeks and soon realised I was pregnant.
In April 2011 I had our second child. Throughout the first two years I didn’t believe I was in an abusive relationship. I hid a lot from my family and distanced myself from my friends. As this was his wish, he made me believe I wasn’t worth friends and the friends who still stuck around, he made me believe they weren’t good enough to be around me or my children or he would cause arguments with my friends just to isolate me.
I felt numb, lonely and worthless. I didn’t have my family close at this point, I only had him and my children and in my mentality this was the only thing that mattered to myself, my family. I also couldn’t admit to people what was going on. I felt weak and lifeless. I didn’t want people judging me as I had children. I never wanted people to think I was a bad mother as I love my children unconditionally.
Last year, more violence happened, but I carried on digging my head in the sand. The first incident of the year was the end of January and quite a vile incident as well. My partner urinated on me. This was my first proper attempt for a cry for help and I called the police. When the police arrived I froze and I didn’t give my statement. I look back at this point and see how little respect I had for myself and how weak I was towards him. He was cautioned for this.
In October another incident happened where my partner was arrested for assault by beating and criminal damage against me. I remember looking at my partner at the time and feeling this sense of deflation come over me. I could not carry on in this situation. My children were watching this abuse and I thought of them as I picked up the phone to the police for the last time. He pleaded guilty and a restraining order for two years was put into place.
As my ex-partner left, I was petrified as I knew that day I became a single mum. I made a promise to myself and my children that day; to love and protect myself and my children for as long as I live. I still didn’t know I had the strength to carry this promise on.
Lisa from the Children’s Centre came into my life a couple of weeks after my ex left, and at this point i’d like to say what an amazing, strong, trustworthy professional and friend she has been. I was very worried and wary of social services and outreach as I have heard the typical horror stories you can hear, but I took it in my stride to prove to them I can be the best mother I can be.
Simon, my social worker, was amazing and was always there to help. He never looked at me in a way that ever felt patronising and always seemed helpful and caring about my situation. I thank social services for their great help and support throughout the time they were involved.
Lisa and the team were my “rocks” throughout the terrible time I went through. Lisa was continuously on the end of the phone when needed, always there when I needed a helping hand, took great interest on how myself and my children were feeling through the uproar of what had happened and even more so, put me on two fantastic courses. The Freedom Programme and Triple P Parenting Course.
Freedom helped me understand so much more than what I thought I could. I gained strength, wisdom, hope and friends. People in my position who greatly understood the importance of exactly what I was feeling. This course should be available in every county. I truly believe, looking back, that Freedom turned me into this person I am today.
Triple P helped me open up to my children more. I never could express my feelings towards my children as I was in constant fear of their father keeping tabs on me so I would block my emotions up. Now a different story…….. I continually tell my children how proud I am of them and how much I adore them. The change in my children has been immense. I never thought they would come so far. They have completely changed for the better and I am so so proud of how great my two children are progressing. They are safe and happy. What more could a mother ask for!
I now live closer to my family and my children are settling in well to their new lives, safely. None of this could have ever been possible without the professionals or projects involved.
I owe them my life as they gave me and my children our lives back.
I thank them and love them so much.
I just hope that other women who have ever been affected or is going through an abusive relationship will find the strength to call out for help as it was the best decision I have ever made. I will never forget the horrific time my children and myself went through, but I can now look back and smile with strength as I can see how far me and my children have come and the better life we live. I want the same for everybody who is/has suffered.