Change that Lasts is a new strengths-based, needs-led approach that supports domestic abuse survivors and their children to build resilience, and leads to independence.
For many women, when they first disclose they are experiencing domestic abuse no one listens to them. No one consults them about how to stop the abuse, despite the fact that nobody knows the perpetrator better than they do.
Often women who disclose abuse are assessed by domestic abuse professionals for risk, and then divided into categories. Those at “standard” or “medium” risk are left to fend for themselves, or offered an hour of counselling a week with little support to escape their abuser.
Not surprisingly, many women struggle to escape the abuse permanently, build their independence, and get their lives back.
Our decades of experience working with these women, and the evidence of research, have taught us a better way. By listening to women we can provide help earlier and make sure its effects actually last.
Change that Lasts is a new approach that places the survivor at the heart and builds responses around her needs and the strengths and resources available to her.
Too often this approach is considered too complicated and too expensive. So to make it clearer, we have created some infographics, visualising these women’s journeys, and the journeys they could have taken. These illustrate the enormous cost, in human and financial terms, of not listening to women and responding to their needs.
We’re going to keep advocating for a response to domestic violence that has women at its centre. We are consulting with our membership on a cross-sector approach to domestic violence that truly has the needs of survivors at its heart.
Read Sarah, Katrina and Yasmin’s stories below.
Welsh Women’s Aid and Women’s Aid (England), working with local authorities, have launched the Ask me scheme, as part of our Change that Lasts approach, to ensure that women experiencing controlling and abusive relationships in your local community can get to the help that they need, faster.