Placeholder Spurgeons

New partnership to support families living with domestic abuse in Norwich

National domestic abuse charity SafeLives and partners from the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership* are pleased to be working with Spurgeons Children’s Charity to pilot new approaches in Norwich to improve outcomes for individuals and whole families experiencing domestic abuse.

Through our work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse we know that nationally there are gaps in the support available for people experiencing abuse. Over the next three years, this new partnership will seek to trial innovative approaches, ensuring every family member can get the right support at the right time, to make them safe, sooner.

The partnership will focus on:

  • Early intervention, helping people recognise the signs of abuse before it escalates
  • Support for the complex needs many people have – often because of, or exacerbated by domestic abuse, such as substance misuse and mental ill health
  • Support for people who are still in their relationship or living with the perpetrator of abuse
  • Support for children and young people through specialist, age appropriate services
  • Support for survivors to recover from the harm, heal and build resilience

We recognise that often services are only able to respond to part of the picture around domestic abuse. At the heart of this pilot is a commitment to work in partnership with existing services to provide an integrated response for individuals and the whole family.

The interventions will form a package of support that takes into account the needs of each person experiencing abuse and offers a tailored response. The pilot will also include training and guidance for professionals, enhancing skills and encouraging agencies to work together to create a culture of engagement with the people and communities they serve.

The learnings from this pilot will provide a much needed evidence base of what works and will be used to inform the response nationally. It will also build on SafeLives’ Beacon approach: creating lasting systematic change by seeing the whole picture for the whole family, challenging perpetrator behaviour and meeting the gaps in the response to domestic abuse that exist nationally.

Ross Hendry, Chief Executive of Spurgeons Children’s Charity, said:

“We are delighted to be working alongside SafeLives and the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership to deliver a whole family approach to tackling domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in Norwich.

“Combining the key expertise of all partners involved, the programme is underpinned by a number of holistic therapeutic interventions for the whole family. Our team of specialists will work with survivors and perpetrators, as well as any children who may live within the home, to reduce instances of DVA and create a safe environment for individuals and families to thrive in. This innovative partnership builds on our existing DVA work – including our Recovering Together project, which provides critical early intervention support”.

SafeLives Chief Executive, Suzanne Jacob said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership and Spurgeons Children’s Charity to trial these new interventions and ways of working in Norwich.

“For the last two years we’ve worked incredibly hard, alongside our expert partners and victims and survivors of domestic abuse to identify the gaps in the current response and develop these interventions.

“Every year in England and Wales, nearly two million people experience domestic abuse. These victims and their children go through indescribable fear and harm. We owe it to them to listen to their needs and wishes and offer them tailored support. It is not enough to merely make people safe from the immediate danger – we must see the whole picture for the whole family.

“The appointment of Spurgeons signals the next stage in the development of this work. We look forward to working together to help more victims, survivors and children become safe sooner.”

Louise Smith, Director of Public Health and Project Sponsor for Norfolk’s SafeLives Beacon Project said:

“Here in Norfolk we are delighted to be working alongside SafeLives and Spurgeons to pilot new approaches to tackle domestic abuse in Norwich. Domestic abuse blights the daily lives of a significant proportion of the population and is a major public health issue. The causes of domestic abuse are complex and its consequences far reaching, not only for victims and perpetrators, but also for their children and wider society. We recognise that effective responses to domestic abuse are grounded in sound partnership working, and we welcome the opportunity to develop our approach as a Beacon area for SafeLives. This will help to ensure that our improvement programme is informed by both innovation and best practice nationally.

“The Norwich pilot provides a real opportunity to work with whole families affected by domestic abuse, intervening earlier, with the ultimate aim of keeping people safe, sooner.”

This project would not be possible without substantial funding from Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership, Big Lottery Fund Women and Girls Initiative and further funding from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Peter Cundill Foundation and The Aurum Charitable Trust.

*Partners from the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership that are funding this are Norfolk Constabulary, Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Norfolk Children’s Services, Norfolk Adult Social Services, Norfolk Public Health and Norwich City Council.