Cash boost in the fight against domestic abuse

By Farnham Herald in Local People

SOUTHERN Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) has secured £500,000 from The Big Lottery Fund to work with people affected by domestic abuse in south-east Hampshire.

This funding is being awarded so that SDAS, whose area includes East Hampshire, and Portsmouth City Council can successfully deliver a range of innovative interventions for adults aged 16 and over who are being domestically abusive.

The project will also provide support to the non-abusive partner to help them manage their safety by understanding their own choices and feelings and to make a decision about the future of the relationship. The project will be delivered over three years.

Up2U: Creating Healthy Relationships is an innovative programme developed by Portsmouth City Council and aimed at people who use domestically abusive behaviour in their intimate partner relationships.

The programme is evidence based and has been developed in consultation with the support of a Quality Assurance Group consisting of representatives from victim support services, mental health, children’s services, substance misuse services and health. It is based on research and practice successfully used in offender rehabilitation, motivational interviewing and attachment theory.

SDAS and Portsmouth City Council have been working together to deliver Up2U in Portsmouth since May 2014. This funding will widen the delivery area to cover south-east Hampshire.

Up2U is based on current research and recognises that power/control is a factor in domestic violence and abuse, it also acknowledges that people can use domestic abuse for different underlying reasons ranging from childhood trauma and emotional deregulation, learned behaviour, attitudes that support gender differences, poor conflict resolution as well as the use of power and control resulting in different typologies of domestic abusers.

The programme is a client-focused assessment led intervention programme responding to individual need, risk and responsivity by offering tailored packages. Due to this design, Up2U is able to work with all people who admit to using abusive/violent behaviours and want to change regardless of gender and sexuality and that can work with both partners in co-abusive relationships.

Southern Domestic Abuse Service chief executive Claire Lambon said: “SDAS is committed to protecting victims of domestic abuse. Our approach is to support those affected by domestic abuse and this funding will support our ambition to improve and expand local services.

“We are committed to partnership working to ensure that there is a co-ordinated community response model to domestic abuse and look forward to continuing to work with Portsmouth City Council. Our vision is a world with out domestic abuse.”

Robert New, member for environment and community safety at Portsmouth City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that this funding has been secured from the Big Lottery Fund for such important work. Domestic abuse is a problem affecting so many people, and this essential funding allows those who use domestic abusive behaviours to make a choice about changing their behaviour.

“Together with our partners at SDAS, we can pro-actively support individuals to develop alternative coping skills and new ways of communicating to increase the likelihood of more positive relationships in the future.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to the Big Lottery Fund for the funding, and to my partners for all their dedication to this important cause.”

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