Domestic Violence & My Sisters Place
- AuthorChristine Smith
Domestic violence happens everywhere. Sadly, a large number of both women and men experience it. Many victims access services to assist them across the country. Domestic violence can happen to any woman or man.
Domestic violence covers a large number of behaviours including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse not to mention honour based violence.
It has far reaching consequences on the victims and their families, including their children.
Middlesbrough has a high rate of domestic abuse and there has been a 20% surge in domestic violence reports over the last year.
Tilly Bailey & Irvine work closely with local domestic violence services across the Tees Valley and Durham areas.
These services provide a safe place for victims to discuss thoughts and experiences and access emotional and practical support needed.
We have worked extensively with a very special organisation called My Sisters Place which is a domestic abuse charity based in Middlesbrough.
My Sisters Place is, effectively, a one stop shop for those women suffering or that have suffered from domestic abuse. Given the high rate of domestic abuse, the work of My Sisters Place is vital, whether the abuse has been reported to the Police or not.
One of the aims of My Sisters Place is to work with the wider community to educate people about domestic abuse and to raise awareness of it, so that assaults come to the attention of the Police far more quickly.
They provide a confidential and safe environment for those affected by domestic abuse to attend and receive the support that they need and have supported around a thousand women each year since they began. Demand for their services continues to grow year on year. The need has been so strong that My Sisters Place’s premises on Borough Road in the town was no longer large enough to accommodate its number of service users. So, in 2015, they saw the completion of a refurbishment of their building, doubling its size and allowing more support to be given.
The support that can be accessed includes:-
1. Disabled access
2. Video suite linked to the Magistrates and Crown Courts (so that women feel safe when giving evidence)
3. A training room (to help train other organisations)
4. Calming counselling rooms
5. Support for families through processes such as the civil and criminal courts and child protection plans and assisting service users in securing legal aid.
6. Increasing security on properties through the Sanctuary Scheme (a multi-agency victim centred initiative which aims to enable households at risk of violence to remain safely in their own homes by installing a ‘Sanctuary’ in the home and through the provision of support to the household of which more information is available on the government website) allowing them in to feel safe in their own homes.
7. Running Choices and Freedom programmes.
8. Specialist work to deliver practical advice and support on housing, money/debt to allow the women to achieve independence and create pathways into education and training.
The practices used at My Sisters Place shows that 99% of users have increased safety when they conclude working with the charity. Their work is nationally recognised in the difference it has made and they show partner agencies across the country how to replicate the way support should be best delivered. My Sisters Place make a massive difference to its service users with a fantastic team includes counsellors and volunteers.
Tilly Bailey & Irvine have been part of My Sisters Place over the last thirteen years, providing legal advice to women and supporting those women through the court process etc;
Our Family Law Team is passionate about helping victims of domestic abuse.
We have a specialist domestic violence team located across our offices throughout the North East and we support victims of domestic violence on a daily basis. If you are a victim of domestic abuse and would like advice then please get in touch. We are here to help.