Standing Together is one of the organisations involved in the Angelou Partnership but it is different to the others in that we don’t provide a direct service to women. So what does a domestic abuse organisation that doesn’t work with women do??
We are committed to what is called the Coordinated Community Response – sounds good eh? In a nutshell what this means is that we need all of the community to come together if we are ever going to eradicate domestic abuse.
If you experience domestic abuse it will affect many areas of your life – you may need to call the Police and use the courts to keep you safe. It may affect your health both physically and mentally. If you have children, you may be concerned for their safety or find their schooling is interrupted. You may find you need to move to stay safe. It might affect your work and your social life. So we think it’s important to work with a really wide range of agencies and community organisations so that if someone needs help, they get the most effective response.
To help this happen we work with Housing colleagues both at the Councils and with Housing Associations to help them know how to provide the best service if you approach them.
We work with Health colleagues in the hospitals and in the community, so that they feel more confident to ask about domestic abuse and know where they can get further specialist help for their patients.
We work with Children and Adult Social Services to ensure that we keep the most vulnerable safe if there is abuse in the family and that survivors are supported.
We support schools to provide education for young people on what a relationship should feel like and dispel some of those myths about what’s expected and what’s ‘normal’ so that young people can make informed decisions about who they want to be with.
We work with the Police and the courts to improve the response to those that report their abuse and ensure that the abuser is held accountable for their behaviour but also given opportunities to change.
We also know that sometimes there are additional barriers to getting support and so we work with community groups to try and make the services that we have locally as easy to reach as possible.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly we talk to those who have used the services locally and ask them how we could improve them. We use this information to feedback to those that have the power to make those changes. We are not complacent, we know we can always improve what is on offer but we try our best to ensure that we provide the best with the services and resource that we have.
All of this work helps us to coordinate all the work that is happening in our community so that we have the best possible response to anyone that asks for support for domestic abuse. See what I did there.
So we may not work directly with women experiencing abuse, but we certainly work for them!