Our team of expert practitioners have decades of collective experience working in the domestic and sexual violence/abuse sector. Read all about them below.
Jacqui manages the National Training Centre at Women’s Aid. She has been instrumental in the development of a national accredited qualification for those professionals whose work brings them into contact with domestic and sexual violence. Jacqui also worked with the Home Office and Skills for Justice in their work towards developing the national occupational standards for the domestic and sexual violence sector.
Until taking up this position, Jacqui’s career for almost 20 years had been at the operational level in direct Women’s Aid services. Over the years, this work involved direct work with women and children together with the development of outreach services. Jacqui managed a city refuge service for six years during which time she had a significant involvement in training staff from many other professions on domestic violence and related issues. Her work also included undergraduate and post graduate practice teaching for social work students from two universities. Jacqui has also taught healthy relationship programmes in primary and secondary schools as part of their PSHE & SEAL.
Jacqui was then seconded by the local authority to work with the domestic violence coordinator in Hull to set up and manage a new multi-agency team encompassing a specialist police unit, Children’s and Young People’s Services, Housing, Health and Support workers. This was a particularly innovative development in that the whole team worked from a single office and was therefore able to respond in a fully co-ordinated manner to all the domestic violence incidents within the city. As part of this role Jacqui was instrumental in the setting up of the city’s MARAC process, which she also co-chaired with the police.
This initiative has now been given national recognition for their work by winning a national award – the Tilley Award which aims to highlight services that have made a difference to community safety or have reduced crime through partnership working.
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Radha is an Accredited Senior Immigration and Asylum Adviser with extensive experience of working with refugee, asylum seeking and migrant survivors of DA and gender-based violence, including FGM, forced marriage and sex trafficking. She recently ran a project funded through Comic Relief which provided asylum seeking and migrant women with immigration representation and tribunal advocacy. She has considerable experience of working with and interviewing women who have experienced trauma and/or are suffering from mental health issues.
Radha has worked for over ten years in the generalist advice sector as an advice session manager and project co-ordinator. Welfare benefits, housing and community care (social services) issues, especially those relating to DA survivors and to EEA nationals, are areas she has particular expertise and interest in. Radha is currently employed part-time as a Duty Manager at an advice agency in Bristol. In addition she provides immigration advice and representation on a voluntary basis to vulnerable clients with complex immigration issues who are unable to access legal aid. This includes ‘outside the Rules’ cases based on article 8 (right to family life), and complex EEA law based cases, including derivative and retained rights of residence.
Radha has run training sessions on a range of legal and advice-based immigration and asylum issues, from legal, topic-specific update courses, to advocacy and interviewing skills sessions.
Bianca is a trained psychologist specialising in the psychology of women. Since joining Women’s Aid in 2008, Bianca has developed and delivered many accredited and bespoke courses for practitioners in the field of domestic abuse.
Katrina joined the National Training Centre as a Training Officer in November 2021.
Katrina has previously worked as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate and in this role she also developed and delivered a specialist intervention aimed at providing dedicated training to services operating in rural areas, as well as supporting isolated survivors.
Katrina has also spent several years working with the IRIS programme in Bristol as an Advocate Educator, providing enhanced training to frontline healthcare professionals to improve their response to domestic abuse and directly supporting survivors identified through the programme.
Jo is a qualified IDVA and ISVA, with 17 years’ experience of working in the domestic violence sector.
Jo worked in the Cornwall refuge where her work involved all aspects of direct support for women, after which she was a police IDVA, with extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and the family courts. Jo also carried out advocacy support, representing victims with housing and benefit issues.
Currently Jo works for the National Training Centre at Women’s Aid, where she develops and delivers accredited training and qualifications for the sector. Jo is also a qualified assessor and continues her direct work as a part-time hospital IDVA.