News from RtR

Vacancy- New Champion Development post

Reducing the Risk has a two-year grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation Transform Fund. The fund supports local charities which have potential to make a significant difference on a larger scale. The grant will support a new post: ‘Lead for Partnership and Champion Network Development’.

The post-holder will work closely with Michelle, our Training and Development Manager, to: 

Oxfordshire champions' training dates released

After much debate and discussion around venues in Oxfordshire, we've now managed to secure the following dates for training and Network Meetings.

We would like to thank each venue for hosting our courses/meetings and appreciate the support of the DA Champions in arranging them for us. Many thanks to Shaz, Jo, James, Andrea and Abi.

Vacancy- IDVA/Outreach in Wycombe




We are an independent charity offering support, information and refuge to women and children experiencing domestic violence.  We are seeking to fill the following post:

IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) / Outreach Worker

Church updates their response to DA


In trying to attract more Faith Groups into our network of DA Champions we saw some good news this week.

2017 London Marathon - Richard's training update

RichardBriant01.jpgThe London marathon is six weeks away and so time to tell you about my progress.

I run with a wonderful group of friends and Luna the dog on Tuesdays and Fridays all year round. We go from Walton Well on the west side of central north Oxford, over Port Meadow, across the Thames on the Rainbow bridge and almost up to the ruins of Godstow Nunnery. We start early to allow time for school runs, works and breakfast, so it can be dark (and a struggle) in deep winter. Now it’s great and the light is usually wonderful.

Running all year round makes us appreciate the constant changes of temperature, light and mud and the seasonal rhythms.

Policing & Crime Act, 2017

Lamp outside police stationWe posted last year about the College of Policing's advice on the likely impact of this new legislation (a statute that covers a vast array of changes from emergency services collaboration, complaints and structure of police forces to treatment of detained persons suffering mental health issues). Now that it's received Royal Assent we wanted to highlight again one specific issue which will impact on domestic abuse cases.

Changes will be made from April 3, 2017 to strengthen the rules around what was known as Police Bail. This occurs often when police release an individual to allow further enquiries to be made, such as awaiting medical evidence, outstanding witness statements or phone records etc. Very often in DA cases, conditions are placed on such cases to reduce the risk to victims by requiring the suspect not to make contact directly or indirectly with the alleged victim nor attend the area of their address. Sometimes, these situations have gone on for inappropriate lengths of time and this act now requires certain criteria to be met when bail is granted.

Changes to children's services in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children BoardOxfordshire County Council is changing the way it delivers children's services. From March 1, 2017 we will have a new Locality and Community Support Service (LCSS) and a Family Solutions Service (FSS). This is a long article outlining all the changes; please do click through and read the whole thing.

Decriminalising Domestic Abuse in Russia

Russian flag and crestThere has been a good deal of worldwide media coverage of the new Russian law decriminalising what they term 'moderate' domestic violence. Previously, beatings of spouses or children that resulted in bruising or bleeding but not concussion or broken bones were criminal offences punishable by up to two years' imprisonment; under the new law they have been downgraded to 'administrative' offences attracting only a fine. This was the result of a very definite vote in the Russian Parliament - 380 votes to 3 in the Duma (lower house of parliament) followed by a similarly easy ride through the Federation Council (upper house) - and was signed into law by the President, Vladimir Putin, last month.

Brave DA survivor encourages others to get help

Marianne Standeven, whose former partner was jailed for ten and a half years this week for a brutal attack on her, addressed her remarks outside court to silent victims of domestic abuse.

“You can do it." Ms Standeven said. "It is horrific -- only if you’re going through it or you’ve been through it will you know what they’re going through, you can’t explain it to anyone. [...] But get out there, get help, get up on that stand and you will get justice.”

Introducing Read Easy

Read EasyThis week saw the relaunch of the Read Easy scheme in Oxford --  a not-for-profit organisation that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to give one-to-one tuition to adults who struggle with reading. With any luck this will be the first of many in the Thames Valley region!

African families in the UK - Conference

African families in the UKAfrican Families in the UK (AFiUK) (a Community Interest Company for Third Culture African British Children and their families) would like to invite professionals or their clients to a conference "acknowledging our lived experiences as International British Women", 12.00 - 18.00 on Saturday March 18, 2017 at The Venue@Cowley, 242b Barns Road, Oxford OX4 3RQ

This is part of their ongoing campaign to end FGM and violence against women and girls.

A flyer with more information is available

International Women's Day - March 8, 2017

This year International Women's Day has a new campaign theme: #BeBoldForChange

Every person - women, men and non-binary people - can play a part in helping drive better outcomes for women. Through meaningful celebration and targeted bold action, we can all be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. So around the world, International Women's Day provides an important opportunity for ground breaking action that can truly drive greater change for women.

All about LAGLOs

LGBTBucks.pngWe'd like to take a moment to publicise the work of the two LAGLOs we currently have in our DA Champions' Network, so that all our other Champions are better informed of their vital role in reaching out to hard to reach groups. Both officers (contact details below) are very happy to hear from any other Champions and willing to help if they can -- although please bear in mind that they work shifts so you may not get an immediate response if you do make contact.

A LAGLO (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison Officer) is a police officer or member of police staff who has specialist training in, and a specific understanding of, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. This expert knowledge and understanding offers a critical additional resource to Thames Valley Police and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) communities and individuals. 

Hollie Gazette - new edition

Hollie Gazzard TrustOur friends at the Hollie Gazzard Trust have been incredibly busy again, with another fantastic edition of their Gazette just published.

This edition has some great articles - one on a female police officer juggling a stressful frontline role with a very abusive relationship at home - read how she coped and got the help she needed. There is news on their conference in April (previous news article) and the success of the HollieGuard phone app, plus a very informative article on the work going on at Westminster to enable more realistic sentencing for stalkers and the campaign for a national stalkers' register.

Training for DA practitioners

Beyond Words - empowering people through picturesBeyond Words - a provider of books, services and training for people who find pictures easier to understand than words, because of a learning disability or communication difficulty, and whose books we mentioned on our Facebook page last year - is offering two half-day workshops in Oxford on 22 and 29 March, training professionals in responding to those with learning disabilities who experience domestic and sexual abuse.

Participants must have previous training in safeguarding or domestic abuse - such as our DA Champions' training!

This training is sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley.

Read the flyer to find out more, and email Abigail Wycherley to apply for a place.

We're looking for venues in Oxfordshire

We are very pleased to announce that we are going to be delivering new two day DA Champion training sessions around Oxfordshire!

The issue we have is that with the closure and upgrades of all the county hubs, and no budget to hire a hall, we're in urgent need of new venues. We will be providing 5 sessions altogether and like to move around the county, so that we can minimise travel for our new DA Champions.

If you know of a large training room or hall that we could use for 2 consecutive days, please email us and let us know. It would need a decent parking area and good links with public transport; we also need a screen to project onto, a small kitchen to prepare refreshments (we bring the makings) and enough room for between 15-20 people.

Child Protection Challenges Conference

Women's Aid - until women & children are safeNext week (Friday March 10) Women’s Aid and some of the world’s leading experts in child protection are holding an innovative conference on "Child Protection Challenges" exploring domestic abuse and its impact on children and young people. The conference is aimed at national policy leads in the areas of domestic abuse and/or child protection; those working in or with child protection services and/or domestic abuse services; civil servants; justice professionals; the police; social services; advice services; and those working in health and/or education.

Confirmed speakers so far include:

Discussion evening with Oxford Against Cutting

Oxford Against CuttingOxford Against Cutting is hosting a presentation and discussion evening on Friday March 3, 19.00 - 21.30 at Friends' Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford about FGM and the role of art. Local artist Hugh Palmer will talk about his thought-provoking artwork "Press for Change" and host a question and answer session with the Oxford Against Cutting team.

The artwork was created as part of HATCHED 2017, an exhibition on the theme of women's issues and part of the Oxford International Women’s Festival.

Paladin campaign for serial perpetrator register and order

Paladin - National Stalking Advocacy ServiceOur colleagues at anti-stalking charity Paladin have thrown their support behind a petition created by Pam Dabney and John and Penny Clough (whose daughters Kirsty Treloar and Jane Clough were murdered by stalkers with long histories of violence and abuse) for the UK government to create a stalkers' register.

This is just one of a slate of six interconnected recommendations from Paladin which, taken together, would enable police to pro-actively identify, track, monitor and manage stalkers. As Paladin say, "Currently there is no existing framework which can track or monitor serial stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators. Instead police rely on a series of victims to report multiple crimes and often it is the victims who are forced to modify and change their behaviour, flee their homes and disappear themselves in order to stay safe.  This is the reason why refuges are in demand and victims continue to be moved around the country. MARACs also tend to focus on the victim too rather than the perpetrator. We track victims when they move but not the problem – the perpetrator."

Paladin's recommendations in full:

Masterclass on IMRs (discount for DA Champions)

Healthcare Conferences UKHealthcare Conferences UK are holding an additional masterclass in London on June 14, 2017 on Individual Management Reviews (IMRs) for Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) and the use of Root Cause Analysis. This follows their previous masterclass held last month. but this time we have been offered a 20% discount for DA Champions and other readers of this e-Bulletin. It's still not cheap but may be of interest to those of you whose agencies are asked to provide IMRs to DHR Panels, as it helps agencies to establish a methodology to ensure that the aims of a DHR are met and service improvements made. 

Evaluation of Inspiring Families Programme

Rock PoolThe Inspiring Families (IF) Programme is an innovative tool for the assessment of families where domestic abuse is an identified component and the families have chosen to stay together. Rock Pool, in partnership with Slough Children’s Services Trust, Slough Borough Council and Thames Valley Police, delivered a pilot Inspiring Families Programme in Slough between 4 May and 13 July 2016 and the evaluation report of that pilot has recently been published by WestPoint.

The reviewers conclude that the IF Programme is perceived as embodying a change in the methodological approach to addressing domestic abuse in that it focuses on the needs of children, engages with perpetrators as men and father, and assesses family dynamics over a period of time to test issues such as disguised compliance. Its structure and content has been well received by family social workers and IF Programme Family Assessments are viewed as a vital evidence base for the social workers and case review conference panels; this in turn demonstrates that the IF Programme has the capacity to enhance practitioner awareness of and multi agency response to risk within a family dynamic.  

PM to oversee new DA laws?

Theresa MayThere was a lot of media coverage this week of the Prime Minister's apparent plans to personally oversee new legislation aimed at domestic abuse.

While announcing a "major new programme of work" to be co-ordinated by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, Downing Street commented:

Domestic violence and abuse shatters lives but the way we deal with it at the moment does not go far enough – with a plethora of different offences and procedures scattered across the statute book. 

This lack of clarity has led to an unacceptable diversity across the country in terms of the degree of effort put in to try and tackle it. Although the prosecution of, and convictions for, such offences have started to improve in recent years, there is inconsistency in the use and effectiveness of the various law enforcement measures across the country.

West Berks say thanks

West Berkshire Safer Communities PartnershipWest Berkshire Council's White Ribbon Giving Tree appeal has raised £353.50. The generous donations will be spent directly on children from or in West Berkshire who have experienced Domestic Abuse and are currently staying in refuges with their mothers.

Our DA Champion trainer in West Berks - Michelle Charlesworth from West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Service - said, "These donations make a huge difference to children who are displaced from their homes due to Domestic Abuse. They have had to leave their familiar and treasured belongings behind and trips to the swimming pool or the cinema are often out of reach for them. Experiences take them away from that sadness for a short while and help them to make new friends."

2017 OSCB Annual Conference

Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children BoardOSCB are pleased to announce their 2017 Annual Conference, to take place on Wednesday March 8, 2017 at The King’s Centre in Oxford from 09.30 - 15.30.

The theme is "Relationships and identity" and the keynote speakers will provide a national perspective on relationships, including the issues faced in LGBTQ relationships.  The day, designed for professionals, will highlight issues faced by children and adolescents struggling with issues around relationships, sexuality and identity. There will also be a focussed session on the Early Help Assessment and Threshold of Needs.

Stalking Conference - Gloucestershire

Hollie Gazzard TrustOur good friend Nick Gazzard has organised a conference with an amazing group of speakers, providing an overview of the new Gloucestershire Stalking Support Service (GSSS) available to Gloucestershire victims. Stalking is one of the most frequently experienced forms of abuse, abuse that can destroy the lives of its victims and escalate to rape and murder.

The Gloucestershire Stalking Support Service will not only ensure a robust response to stalking behaviour and its victims in the County, but also increase awareness of stalking, encouraging reporting and raising awareness amongst multi-agency professionals on the risks and how to respond.  Raising awareness and providing advice and assistance to those being stalked is of paramount importance. As a part of the overall strategy for Gloucestershire, a dedicated stalking helpline will be available as well as advice and guidance from a fully trained Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (IASAC).


Donate to us via MyDonate

Subscribe to News from RtR