Survivors of domestic abuse are most 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 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. Survivors also tell us they fear speaking out in the first please, because of fears about how their community will respond.
We are changing this through our Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme. Through training sessions, community members are equipped with an understanding of domestic abuse, how to challenge domestic abuse myths and victim blaming and how to provide a supportive response to survivors. This knowledge will enable the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse.
“We know that communities are often the first to know about abuse, and that they can act as gate openers or gate closers in terms of help seeking.”
(Finding the Costs of Freedom report, 2014)
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 sign up to attend the training and start bringing change to your community.
Once you sign up, you will attend a free training course, either face to face or online. The face to face training is a 12-hour course, with all of the training materials delivered in the session. The online training is a 15-hour course, made up of equal amounts of ‘pre-reading’ and online interactive training.
On the training you will learn about domestic abuse, how to break the silence and raise awareness about 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 to them, believing them 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, you are given resources from Women’s Aid, and are encouraged to share what you have learned with those around them. This can be done in whatever way feels most comfortable to you.
This training is aimed at communities, not professionals working with survivors or abuse. If you are interested in further training, please visit the Women’s Aid National Training Centre to find out more. If you have any questions about Ask Me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We may also be able to deliver Ask Me to your organisation. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact email@example.com
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.
The Ask Me scheme is not a domestic abuse practitioner course. If you are interested in further training, please visit the Women’s Aid National Training Centre to find out more.