New ways to access domestic abuse support

July 8th, 2020 by

Safer Futures, a domestic abuse and sexual violence support and recovery service provided by First Light in partnership with Barnardos have launched a Live Web Chat on the saferfutures.org.uk website.

Safer Futures offer a range of support options for both those experiencing domestic abuse and those engaging in abusive behaviour. Support has been available throughout the Covid-19 lockdown and they have launched live web chat as another way for people to access support.

The Live Web Chat is available Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00.

 

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It does happen here and children need YOU to ‘Speak Out’

June 11th, 2020 by

A new campaign is being launched in Cornwall to help people recognise the signs of child sex abuse.

The ‘Speak Out’ campaign was created by Our Safeguarding Children partnership (OSCP), which includes Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the NHS.

The campaign aims to take the responsibility of reporting sexual abuse away from children and young people, because they may not be able to say something for a variety of reasons, and instead ask adults to spot and understand the potential signs of CSA and speak out when they think something’s wrong. Our goal is to protect children and help them begin their recovery.

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a very complex area of safeguarding and, as a society, it’s something that we can find incredibly hard to talk about.

“Within families and communities, there remains a disbelief and denial about sexual abuse, which means it is less likely to be identified and discussed.  In addition to this, children are very unlikely to tell someone that they’re being abused – particularly when the perpetrator is known to them.

The campaign focusses around a number of key messages. They are:

  • Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a hidden crime.
  • Most children and young people who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know.
  • Knowing the signs and reporting cases of child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
  • You don’t have to be certain it’s happening – If you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.
  • The OSCP and MARU are there to help protect all vulnerable children and young people at risk of abuse.

Sally added: “When a child or young person is sexually abused, they may not understand that what’s happening is abuse, or that it’s wrong. Therefore, parents, professionals and the public must understand the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse and know how to respond.”

This campaign is particularly important at a time when social distancing rules mean that more children than ever will be staying at home, sometimes in unsafe environments. With this comes the risk that the signs of sexual abuse may go even further unnoticed and so it is vital that we start to raise awareness of the signs of CSA and clarify how people can report their concerns.

Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership, John Clements, added: “All of us have a responsibility to know the signs and to speak out against child sexual abuse.  You don’t have to be completely sure; anything you tell us could help us to protect a child or young person at risk from sexual abuse.

“Together, we can help to stop child sexual abuse from happening and give children and young people in Cornwall a voice.

If you suspect something is not right, please contact the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on: 0300 123 1116 or speak to the police. If you are located on the Isles of Scilly, please telephone the Children’s Social Care Team on 01720 424483.

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Safer Cornwall reminds communities to support each other during pandemic

May 5th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall is calling on residents to support each other during the pandemic and avoid confrontations over social distancing.

The partnership, made up of Cornwall CouncilDevon and Cornwall Police and other agencies, has received reports of verbal abuse, abuse on social media, and criminal damage to personal property as a result of people being mistaken for breaking social distancing rules.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team have warned that they will not tolerate behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress and will take action against those responsible.

Safer Cornwall strongly discourages anyone from approaching another person to confront them about social distancing, or if they have concerns that a business is open that should not be.

Instead, the partnership is reminding residents to treat one another with respect at this difficult time and to report their concerns to the correct agencies so they can carry out the appropriate investigations.

Anyone concerned about social gathering should contact the Police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

If a business is suspected of flouting closure orders reports should be made to Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or by emailing covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for environment and public protection, said: “It is with sadness that we have received reports of families being targeted online and face-to-face about not following social distancing guidelines, when the perception may be wrong.

“We have seen second homeowners and businesses put themselves forward to offer accommodation for key workers and local families, who need this vital accommodation, to maintain the work commitments that allow them to keep their families safe.

“Please do not assume that anyone in a motorhome, holiday home or driving is breaking the social distancing guidelines. Continue to be compassionate and understand that where applicable that Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police will undertake the enforcement needed.”

Simon Mould, Cornwall Council’s Head of Communities, said: “We continue to see amazing support across all of our communities where those most vulnerable are being supported by voluntary groups and individuals giving what they can to help those most in need. We ask that residents show compassion and understanding during this difficult time.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We have seen over the Easter holidays that communities are following the social gathering restrictions and only in limited cases have we had to respond and enforce against large groups gathering.

“We are however seeing an increase in neighbour nuisance and reports of non-compliance. If you are experiencing any form of hate crime or harassment please report this to us so that we can take action to support you.”

If you are being targeted and experiencing any form of alarm, harassment or distress please report this to the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.


For more information on support during the pandemic see our Covid-19 and community safety page

 

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Campaign launched to raise awareness of safety planning for families experiencing domestic abuse during covid-19

April 29th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall have launched a campaign to raise awareness of safety measures families can put in place if they are experiencing domestic abuse during this time. This is to mitigate the increased risks of domestic abuse in this period as the Lockdown has serious impacts on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.

The campaign aims to provide communities with brief and easy to follow tips on how to increase safety at home and reassure communities that vital services are still available to support adults and children during this time.

Laura Ball, Cornwall Council, Strategy Lead for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence said: “We know that under the current physical distancing/isolating requirements there is a substantial risk that people are living in a much more pressured environment with their abusers. We are doing everything we can to provide people with information on how they can increase their safety, whether they decide to leave their abuser or not.

The campaign is being rolled out via digital media and the Safer Cornwall website. It provides example safety plans, safety apps that are available, information for staying safe at home and what to do if risk escalates.

Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “We know that domestic abuse and sexual violence are very complicated issues and there is no easy fix for everyone. We want to provide some brief and easy to follow tips on how safety can be increased at home and highlight that services are still available if people wish to reach out for support.”

The campaign launched on the 14th April with 6 key safety tips being posted via social media and on the Safer Cornwall website daily. Safer Cornwall will continue to raise awareness through this campaign and others, while Lockdown is in place, to ensure people can access the help and support they need.

Safety Tips:

  • You can leave your house to access support and safety
  • If you are in immediate danger call 999
  • Tell someone you trust and create a safety net around you
  • If safe, have a ‘Get up and go bag’ hidden if you need to escape quickly, with all of your essential items
  • Have a safe room in the house you can escape to and alert your neighbours

Safer Cornwall is also supporting the National Domestic Abuse Campaign which launched on the 11th April highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they are still able to leave and seek refuge. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, will create a community around those affected by domestic abuse and reassure victims that support remains available.

The cross-government definition of Domestic Abuse is: “Any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or are family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. This includes:

Psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, stalking, So-called ‘honour’-based or ‘honour’ violence and forced marriage and Female genital mutilation.”

Local resources/help

If you need help services are still available.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999. The police are still responding to domestic abuse as a priority during this time.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence please contact:

Cornwall’s Domestic Abuse Service

saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk

0300 777 4777

To make a referral please go to
https://saferfutures.org.uk/online-referral/

Alternatively, you can also access refuge and support via Cornwall Refuge Trust:

https://www.cornwallrefugetrust.co.uk/

24 hour Helpline: (01872) 225629

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Advice, Support and Information during the Covid-19 Isolation

April 14th, 2020 by

We have all been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has changed our daily routines.

Safer Cornwall’s number one objective is helping communities to be and feel safe.

During this time, a wide range of services and support continues to be available throughout Cornwall to respond to concerns about crime, anti-social behaviour and other issues that impact on community safety.  For more information follow link.

Community Safety and Covid-19


You can also find information regarding support for those living with Domestic Abuse here:

Support for those living with domestic abuse during the Covid-19 outbreak

 

We also have advice and information on our social media pages:

                 

 

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New domestic abuse campaign launched as cases expected to increase

April 2nd, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall have launched a campaign to raise awareness to mitigate the increased risks of domestic abuse in this period, and the challenges of providing adequate support, as the Corona Virus will have serious impacts on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.

The campaign aims to reassure communities that vital services are still available to support adults and children during this time, and reiterates where and how to access help.

The campaign also includes information on staying safe in the house, school places for children and how communities can support those affected.

Superintendent Sharon Donald of Devon & Cornwall Police said, “Sadly, as schools close and home working is encouraged, Covid-19 may cause a rise in domestic abuse.  The cycle of violence may intensify with people having to isolate themselves and being unable to socialise in the normal ways.  It is important that victims know how and where to get advice and support and that they know they can report by phone and online.”

The campaign is being rolled out via digital media and the Safer Cornwall website. It aims both to raise awareness that domestic abuse may increase with people self-isolating, and to reassure people that help is available during these unprecedented times.

Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Covid-19 will have a serious impact on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.  For some people, home is not always a safe place, which might mean that the prospect of physical distancing or self-isolation may be causing some adults and children to feel additionally anxious, at an already difficult time.

Anna MacGregor at Safer Cornwall, said “We are doing everything possible to ensure that specialist support continues to be available to everyone that needs it. Some services are restricted to delivering non-face to face support, due to current health concerns. However, the support is still here for you and your family, refuges are still running, and specialist domestic abuse workers are still working to respond to your needs and help you to stay safe.”

 

Resources/help

Cornwall’s integrated domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, is still providing support, safety planning and information via their helpline, text service and online. Safer Futures will also direct you to any additional services that you may need and can liaise on your behalf if appropriate to do so, for example if you feel you want to access a refuge at this time.

saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk

0300 777 4777

To make a referral please go to
https://www.firstlight.org.uk/make-a-referral/

 

Alternatively, you can also access refuge and support via:

Cornwall Refuge Trust:

https://www.cornwallrefugetrust.co.uk/

24 hour Helpline: (01872) 225629

Tel: 01872 225629

 

If you feel unsafe and feel that you are in immediate danger, then you should still contact the emergency services via 999; Devon and Cornwall police work very closely with our local domestic abuse and sexual violence services and will ensure you get the follow-on support that you need.

 

Bright Sky bit.ly/BrightSkyApp  is a free to download mobile app on Android and IOS, providing support and information for anyone impacted by an abusive relationship or for those concerned about someone they know. It can also be used by practitioners and other employers to learn more and provide support.

If you are self-isolating or physically distancing and living with an abusive partner or family member there are a variety of tools you can use to cope emotionally and ensure you are staying safe, There’s lots of useful advice to be found online about ways to help reduce your anxiety and ground yourself, and things to help entertain the children.  In addition, Safer Cornwall will be posting regular videos and information to help you and your family through this difficult time.

We know that those of you with children prioritise their needs over your own and the thought of your children not being in safe place is very unsettling. We want to ensure that you are aware that children who are vulnerable can remain in school. Your school may have already identified your child as being eligible to continue to attend, if they have not and you feel that the situation in your home makes them vulnerable, then contact your school to ask if your child can be included. If you need assistance with this, please contact the Safer Futures or Cornwall Refuge Trust helplines above.

 

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Raising Awareness on Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence 2020

February 28th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall supported Sexual Abuse Sexual Violence Awareness WK 2020 with a conference focusing on the impact of SASV on Children and Young People and a substantial social media campaign promoting the #ItsNotOK movement.

The conference was sold out, with 150 attendees from Health, Education, Local Authority and Voluntary sectors and received great feedback:

“Thank you for a fab morning”
“Thank you for an informative and emotive conference”
“Great conference, great awareness shared”
“I enjoyed the whole conference and have gained a wealth of knowledge that I can use in my role and share with my colleagues”
“hard hitting and informative about the stance and position the Police are taking to address this issue.”

In addition to the conference, we also delivered a substantial social media campaign, featuring information in relation to sexual violence and sexual abuse  and its impact on young people and children and guidance on how to access support in Cios.

The campaign was very successful, reaching over 20,000 people, featuring videos with content from multiple partner agencies and professionals bravely sharing their personal experience of sexual violence and sexual abuse to raise awareness and break the silence!

 

 

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RECONNECT at Westminster

February 28th, 2020 by

Barnardo’s have been working on a Domestic Abuse report based on evidence from their services about the impact domestic abuse has on children – particularly developing mental health issues, harmful sexual behaviour, being in an abusive intimate relationships, and youth offending.

RECONNECT, one of the programmes commissioned through Safer Cornwall, played a vital role in contributing to the report and ensured the voices of the children and young people who live in Cornwall were heard.  They have long been calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to fully reflect children’s experience of domestic abuse and their vital need for support and Barnardo’s report supports these calls.

Staff from Barnardo’s launched the report at a parliamentary roundtable on Tuesday 25th February in the House of Lords.  They discussed the findings and the upcoming opportunity the Domestic Abuse Bill provides to improve support for children affected by domestic abuse.

Sarah Milnes from Barnardo’s said: “There were some real strengths at the meeting, including the content of the speeches and the diversity of people in the room – representing government, parliament and the voluntary sector. There was also significant praise for Barnardo’s which is a tribute to the quality of the report and the influencing we’ve been doing in recent months.”

 

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Working towards a multi-skilled workforce

January 30th, 2020 by

From the beginning of April 2019 Safer Cornwall have delivered 9 different training courses to up-skill staff in our partner agencies.

 

To date these 9 courses have led to 956 staff being trained in specific areas such as Basic Drug Awareness and Motivational Interviewing. These courses aim to train staff across our partner agencies to support people living with substance use and/or domestic abuse.

The picture below shows the number of courses run and the number of people trained in each course.

 

 

 

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Delivering safe spaces and safe workplaces – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

December 12th, 2019 by

Safer Cornwall, supported by Safer Futures, promoted the International 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, by delivering a local workplace focused initiative; encouraging employers and local businesses to provide a safe space in the community for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence, in addition to creating a supportive and safe work place for staff.

The initiative was launched on 25th November in Truro Cathedral by Kate Kennally, Jim Pearce (CIOS Police Commander and Safer Cornwall Chair) and Lyn Gooding (CEO, First Light).

Safer Cornwall hosted walkabouts across all of the 10 Safer Towns and asked businesses to pledge their support, by advertising themselves as safe spaces to the public; using posters and merchandise with contact information for Safer Futures and also downloading our new Cornwall Council model DASV Employment Policy Template to provide information, safety and support to their staff.

Overall, the campaign engaged with 188 businesses during the Safer town walkabouts who all signed the pledge to protect customers and staff by providing a Safe Space. Of these businesses 123 have requested further training to develop their skills and knowledge of domestic abuse. The campaign was featured on Heart FM and Liskeard Radio and has had substantial public engagement through the team’s social media coverage which has reached over 41,000 people and the campaign videos have had over 11,000 views.

The campaign has had great support across all partnership agencies and the wider public, and will serve as a great foundation for all future campaigns, including Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week Monday 3rd February 2020 to Sunday 9th February 2020; watch this space.

 

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: