27 April, 2017

Julia funds training for domestic abuse ‘Champions’ to support victims

Dedicated ‘champions’ have been trained in spotting the signs of domestic abuse in a bid to go out into the community to support victims.

This week, IDAS—the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting anyone affected by domestic abuse—trained 16 volunteers at its York offices to seek out opportunities to raise awareness and help victims get the support that they need.

The Champions scheme, which is funded by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is a pioneering way to reach out into rural areas, change attitudes and beliefs about domestic abuse.

Julia praised the new Champions at the training day on Tuesday. She said: “Domestic Abuse is a crime that can have a devastating impact, not only on the victim, but their family too. And that’s why I decided to fund the Champions Scheme as it will help more people to recognise abuse and encourage more victims to come forward for support and information.

“I would like to thank the Champions for their dedication and commitment because the success of this scheme is reliant on people giving their time and support, and I do hope IDAS hit their target of 60 Champions by the end of the year.”

The aim of the one-day course is to ensure that IDAS Champions, of which there are now 40, are given an understanding of what support is available to victims and perpetrators, the warning signs, barriers for victims accessing support, the importance of professional boundaries, and the law and the importance of personal wellbeing when talking about domestic abuse.

Carmel Offord, IDAS Community Engagement Officer, said: “We had a range of people taking part, some were survivors of domestic abuse and many were from a range of organisations such as youth groups and universities.  They will now be able to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the services IDAS provide in their personal and professional lives.

“North Yorkshire is a huge county, we have a large population living in both rural and urban communities, with the support of IDAS Champions, their local knowledge and networks, we can continue to get our message out that there is help and support available to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.”

IDAS ambassador and Champion, Jan Davos, of Stamford Bridge, who took part in the training day, said: “I think that IDAS provides an incredible service and it’s great that more people will know where to go for support. IDAS helps people to take charge of their own lives but it needs more Champions to spread the message across North Yorkshire, especially to rural areas.”

The next training dates are in Scarborough on June 21, Skipton on July 28 and Northallerton on October 16.

If you are interested in becoming a Champion, contact IDAS for the role description and application form.