1 in 7 children and young people in the UK have experienced domestic abuse, according to NSPCC figures.* With many survivors saying they want earlier intervention, more support for their children and help to recover and move on with their lives. The Spurgeons Norwich Connect project was developed and funded by Savelifes to meet these needs and has made a significant impact since its launch in late 2018.
The Norwich Connect project provides an holistic approach to addressing domestic abuse. Support is tailored to individual families, looking at the victim, perpetrator and children in balance, and involves multiple co-ordinated agencies (including police, healthcare providers and social workers).
The project has come a long way since launching in 2018, each of the staff had 26 days of intense training at the outset. It then set up seven best-practice interventions which are used in combinations according to individuals needs.
One of the key areas of work has involved supporting children and young people affected by domestic abuse including sessions on how to stay safe and to cope with emotions.
In addition to this, the service works with perpetrators, where they can, to support them to change their behaviour.
The Spurgeons’ Norwich Connect project has now been shortlisted for the 2020 Children and Young People Now Awards in the Early Intervention category for its work providing assistance for individuals, couples and families affected by domestic abuse, with a virtual awards ceremony to be held in March 2021.
The figures speak for themselves, between November 2018 and September 2020, the Norwich Connect project saw that:
- 85% of victims and survivors said they felt safer after receiving support
- 75% of victims and survivors said their well-being had improved after receiving support
- 100% of children and young people had improved understanding of how to maintain their own safety after safety interventions
- 75% reduction in children and young people witnessing abuse from intake to exit.
- 80% of perpetrators agreed their relationship with their children had improved since starting support
- 1,500 other professionals have been trained by the service to take what has been learnt into their own working environments.
Beyond the figures, beneficiaries put into their own words just how much of an impact the service has made to them:
”It has helped [me] to feel stronger as a woman and in the mind…no matter what [perpetrator] might say I keep the Idva (Support Worker) in [my] head.”
-Survivor, Norwich Connect
”I have found it invaluable having someone to talk to, and feel that there is someone there that I can go to for help. I am more aware of what domestic abuse looks like, and how to keep myself safe through safety planning with my Idva (Support Worker).”
-Survivor, Norwich Connect
*Radford, L. et al. (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, NSPCC
To learn more about the Norwich Connect Service or to make a referral, click here.