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New approach to tackling domestic abuse



25 Nov 2013

To coincide with Domestic Abuse Awareness Week (25-29 November), Curo and Southside’s Independent Domestic Violence Service are launching a theatre-based training programme designed to help front-line colleagues spot the warning signs of domestic abuse and know where to go for help.

Curo’s Tenancy Solutions Team and Southside have pooled their expertise and experience in managing domestic abuse to design a unique and much-needed training opportunity.

Last year there was an average of 70 domestic abuse crimes a month in Bath and North East Somerset, with estimates suggesting that 5,936 people across the district would have been a victim of domestic abuse in the past year.

Domestic abuse happens behind closed doors and is often unseen and unreported. One in four women and one in 10 men have experienced domestic abuse at one point in their lives and it is estimated that in households where domestic abuse is a factor 90% of children will have been in the same room or next door to where the incident is happening.

Curo’s Head of Tenancy Solutions, Andrew Snee said: “There is a lot of help available for people affected by domestic abuse and at Curo we believe that everyone has a duty to act when they have genuine concerns. Curo’s neighbourhood and response colleagues carry out around 60,000 home visits a year and can find themselves in positions where they witness the signs of domestic abuse. This has to be handled with great sensitivity and this carefully-designed training will help colleagues to act on missed opportunities and to raise concerns with agencies who can offer help.”

Southside’s Chief Executive, Penny McKissock, said: “Southside has run the Independent Domestic Abuse (IDVA) service in Bath & North East Somerset for the last eight years supporting high-risk victims. We have a passionate, committed, highly skilled and dedicated IDVA team at Southside but domestic abuse should be everyone’s business. Everyone needs to take responsibility and understand what taking that responsibility means and what action to take. This theatre training is a big step towards doing just that.”

The training is being launched with a taster session, held on 27 November at Centre Track in Bath, using local professional actors. This training will allow customer-facing staff to challenge, influence and talk about situations they may encounter on an almost daily basis. 

All 175 front-line Curo and Southside colleagues will benefit from this training which will then be extended to other organisations across the West of England who come into contact with customers in their own homes.

Domestic abuse has a higher repeat victimisation rate than any other crime. A victim of domestic abuse is assaulted every six seconds, however a complaint is made to the police every 60 seconds. On average someone will be assaulted 35 times before making a complaint to the police.

Curo is keen to hear from anyone who feels that their staff might benefit from domestic abuse awareness training. Contact Andrew Snee on 01225 366190.

If you are affected by domestic abuse, contact either Curo or Southside for confidential support or visit www.curo-group.co.uk/domesticabuse, or www.south-side.org.uk.

Curo customers can contact Curo’s 24-hour support number on 0300 1232468.

Southside can be contacted on 01225 331243.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline number is 0808 2000 247.

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