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Domestic abuse

How Domestic Abuse Advocates can support you

by Guy Murphy

Domestic abuse is a key priority for Knowsley Council and its partners. A range of support is provided to those seeking support to help them to escape the cycle of abuse.

Support is provided through the Council’s Domestic Abuse Advocates. We spoke to Laura to find out more about her role and the support she provides.

What support can residents expect if they are allocated a Domestic Abuse Advocate?

A range of practical and emotional support is provided in a number of ways:-

  • Identifying and assessing current risks and ensuring that appropriate support is provided.
  • Personal safety planning – exploring the client’s experience to produce a personal safety plan addressing identified risks.
  • Advocacy and support with criminal process including providing information and advice regarding the process, liaising directly with Police, support with completing statements, obtaining Clare’s Law Disclosures, supporting witnesses at Court.
  • Advocacy and support with civil/family court process including support with applications for legal aid, protective orders such as Non-Molestation Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and child arrangement orders etc, support at Court for hearings, liaising with agencies within the family law system (such as solicitors and legal aid agencies).
  • Housing support – supporting clients with obtaining emergency accommodation, refuge or in pursuing a move. Advocates can liaise with social landlords regarding target hardening (such as changing locks).
  • Support in accessing other interventions such as access to drug and alcohol misuse or concerns regarding mental health.
  • Domestic Abuse Awareness – supporting clients to enhance their awareness and insight into their experience of domestic abuse through one-to-one or group work.
  • Choices programme – referrals can be made to the Choices Pathway for alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse who are want to change their behaviour.

How long does the support last for?

Clients are initially offered 12 weeks’ of support. However, this isn’t set in stone and the support can continue until safety planning has been completed, the risk has reduced and an Advocate is no longer needed.

In some cases, there will be a criminal or civil/family court process ongoing, and support will be provided throughout proceedings.

How can people access support?

Referrals are through professionals, such as the police or social care.

Whatever your situation, you are not alone and help and support is available through:-

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Service (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
0151 443 2610

The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
0151 548 3333

Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
0151 443 2600

Savera UK
0800 107 0726

National Domestic violence Helpline
0808 2000 247

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327

LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 999 5428

Remember to dial 999 in an emergency.

What feedback have you received about the support you’ve provided?

Feedback is extremely positive with clients saying that the support offered has made a huge difference. Comments include the Advocate’s high level of training, knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse.

Advocacy at meetings is a big part of what we do, and clients often share their appreciation in the support provided to ensure their voice is heard.