Survivors of domestic abuse are likely to confide in people they know and trust. This can include friends, family or people within their community.
But a lack of understanding and confidence can make these people unsure of how to respond when someone finds the courage to speak out. Survivors tell us they can feel judged, isolated or silenced by the people around them.
We are changing this through our Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme.
Delivered in partnership with local communities, the scheme allows everyday people to become Community Ambassadors. Through training sessions, they will be equipped with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors. This knowledge will enable the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse.
About Change That Lasts in your community
If you have a connection to an area where the Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme is running, you could become a Community Ambassador and start bringing change to your community. You may live there, work there, be involved in a community group or something else.
Once you sign up, you will go on a free 12-hour training course where you will learn about domestic abuse, how to break the silence of abuse and how to help survivors in your area. You will be trained on how to respond when someone shares their personal experience of domestic abuse. This includes listening, believing and guiding them towards further support.
You will also learn how to spark conversations about abuse that will help other people understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out.
Following the course, time commitment for the role is as much or as little as you can give. Community Ambassadors are given resources and support from Women’s Aid, and are encouraged to share what they have learned with those around them. This can be done in whatever way feels most comfortable to them.
We keep in touch with Community Ambassadors with short surveys to find out how they are getting on, through a national Facebook group and through e-newsletters. We also offer further opportunities to get more involved through meet ups, campaigning, volunteering and raising awareness.
There is a chance that we may decide that it isn’t appropriate for a person to take on the role if they don’t share the values and qualities above.
We will work with people to overcome any barriers wherever possible, or we will direct you to a more suitable volunteering or training opportunity.
Community Ambassadors are not certified domestic abuse practitioners. If you are interested in further training, please visit the Women’s Aid National Training Centre to find out more.