It’s nearly time for the start of 16 Days of Action!

On 25th November the campaign will begin; across the the counties that we cover there will be events and activities to raise awareness of the Hidden Victims of domestic abuse and the support that is on offer for them.

It is not acceptable for anyone to suffer domestic abuse!

Look out for more information here and on twitter @bedsdv and the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership facebook page too.

The new Domestic Abuse team; Finally, all in post and raring to go!

The Domestic Abuse team at Central Bedfordshire has had a bit of a make-over in the last few months with a new team-member starting in February, April May and June. We had our first full team meeting last week where we put together the team’s vision and aims and are now ready to formally introduce you all to the team’s new faces;

Joy Piper is the team’s strategic manager and the driving force behind all the work the team will be doing. Joy makes sure that domestic abuse is on everyone’s agenda at a corporate level. Joy is the main strategic link with all our partners making sure victims are safe and perpetrators are held to account

Laura Willingale is the Domestic Abuse team business support officer otherwise known as the centre of the team. Laura is the one that holds all the threads of the team projects, steering groups and forward planning together; and the diary, which is imperative otherwise we’d never know where anyone else actually is.

Tracy Mintern is our Domestic Abuse Engagement officer. Tracy is the front facing point of contact for our team. Tracy manages all our communications, so is responsible for the new posters you may have noticed on your noticeboards. Tracy will also be managing our newsletter and social media pages on Facebook and Twitter making sure all our local events, news and campaigns are updated regularly.

The team run several donation drops for hygiene boxes, where boxes of toiletries are made up from donations for women in refuges. If you would like to donate any new and unused toiletries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tracy or the email the BDAP inbox (bdap@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk)

Tracy will also be organising awareness raising training sessions for any agencies or teams that would like a bit more information on domestic abuse and topics like changes in law and the local and national support available for victims. If you feel this would be useful for your team again please feel free to get in touch with Tracy at bdap@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Nina Page is the teams Domestic Abuse Specialist Officer and coordinates the MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) for Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough. The meetings are held monthly in each borough and devise safety plans for victims at highest risk of domestic abuse. Nina is the specialist point of contact for professionals working with high risk victims of domestic abuse and can be contacted at MARACenquiries@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk . Nina also works with professionals and agencies helping shape new initiatives and ways of multi-agency working with professionals, reflecting on learning and improving practice.

Tene Edwards is the team MARAC administrator, Tene is the first point of contact for anyone referring into MARAC and is the person that answers or signposts all queries, ensures all information is shared across agencies, takes all the MARAC minutes and follows up all the actions.

This is a really exciting time for us as a service, we have a lot of projects and support services to share with colleagues to ensure the best services are available for all victims of domestic abuse regardless of gender, background, age or circumstance. Domestic Abuse is everyone’s concern and it is only through working collaboratively we can support victim to make positive changes, keep families safe and hold perpetrators to account.

We are very excited to finally be up and running and we are all really looking forward to working with you!


BDAP’s Myth Busting Beliefs and Stereotypes Professionals Event

Last Thursday we held our first BDAP professionals event “Myth busting Beliefs and Stereotypes of Domestic Abuse”. We prepared the room, ordered the biscuits, hooked up the power points in council chambers at Priory House and nervously waited to see how many of the delegates we’d invited actually arrived. All in all 80 delegates from a range of statutory and voluntary settings attended. It was really inspiring to see so many people from so many different agencies together in one room all wanting to learn more about Domestic Abuse.

Our first speaker Jo Neale, was from the University of Bedford, she gave a really interesting talk on the myths and stereotypes that prevail in domestic abuse. She provided a list of further research and reading at the end of her talk. It was really informative and offered a great opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we think we know about Domestic Abuse.

Then we changed direction completely, the wonderful Spaniel in the Works visited and performed a short monologue from the perspective of a domestic abuse survivor. It was a powerful and compelling performance which bought the perspective and focus of the morning squarely back to the victim and their lived experience.

After a short break Central Bedfordshire’s Jayne Foster gave a rundown on some of the predominant findings to come out of a large piece of local research by Safer Lives into the experiences of families (victims, perpetrators and children) impacted by domestic abuse and their feedback on the subsequent involvement with professionals. Jayne linked aspects of this in with more wider reaching national research, giving a really good sense of what works and what isn’t working for the family’s we work with.

Finally we heard about Clare’s Law from Bedfordshire police. They gave us an insight into Clare’s story, how Clare’s law came about and then gave us an overview of how we can use and incorporate into our daily working practice.

There was opportunity for questions at the end and what was lovely was listening to the conversations going on at every table afterwards, before everyone had to leave to get back to their respective offices or visits. It felt like everyone who attended left with a little more knowledge than they arrived with and had been given the opportunity to reflect a little on their own skills, knowledge and practice. We really hope this was the case and are looking forward to hosting our next professional’s event later in the year.



If you have any feedback on the event, or have any ideas for future topics you would like us to cover or would like to attend future events please let us know at BDAP@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Join the Victim Support community







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.  




16 Days of Action against Domestic Abuse

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.


https://twitter.com/bedsdv  #16Days


16 Days of Action 2017

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

Have Your Say!

Central Bedfordshire Council are working with SafeLives to gather feedback on current services in Central Bedfordshire that support those who have been affected by domestic abuse.

International Women’s Day

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.

Disrespect Nobody

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

16 Days Roundup & Government Plans

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

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