Working with our partners
All the work SafeLives does is in partnership with others – often frontline organisations working directly with victims of domestic abuse and their families.
At the beginning
When we started, in 2005, a handful of small charities across England and Wales were trying out new ways to help domestic violence victims. They were Halt in Leeds, the Women’s Safety Unit in Cardiff and Advance in west London. Diana Barran founded SafeLives (then Caada) to help these great new ideas spread to new organisations and new areas. When SafeLives got funding for a large-scale trial, the pioneer projects were joined by Let Go (now part of Impact Housing in Cumbria), the Haven (Wolverhampton), North Devon Women’s Aid, and Worth Services (West Sussex).
We also worked closely with Dr Amanda Robinson, Laura Richards and Acpo to develop the Dash risk assessment checklist, which is now used by every police force and many other agencies to understand how much danger a victim is in.
Our statutory partners
We work with many statutory partners who share our desire to stop domestic abuse. A SafeLives staff member is seconded to the College of Policing to write the new police domestic abuse training, to be rolled out in 2015. We sat on the HMIC’s reference group for their domestic abuse inspection. We reviewed the response to domestic abuse for police and crime commissioners and local authorities in Northumbria, Humberside, Hertfordshire, Essex, Somerset and South Wales, amongst others.
Working with the voluntary sector
In recent years, we have worked with lots of brilliant charities. Our young people’s programme was a partnership with Barnardo’s, Ikwro, Leap and the Marie Collins Foundation. We helped Victim Support develop their services for victims of domestic abuse. We worked with Action on Addiction to deliver professional training about domestic abuse and substance misuse.
Our Themis research looks at the impact of locating Idvas in hospitals. It is a partnership with Worth services (West Sussex), the Bristol Royal Infirmary emergency department Idva service, Cambridge County Council Idva service based at Addenbrooke's and Hinchingbrooke hospitals, North Devon Against Domestic Abuse and Next Link service in Bristol. Professor Gene Feder chairs the advisory group.
Domestic abuse sector
In the past few years, we have trained more than 1800 Idvas, many of whom now work for domestic violence services all over the UK. And we work with more than 280 Maracs across the UK, supporting the chairs – usually police officers – and co-ordinators to run effective meetings that make victims safer. More than 40 domestic violence services have achieved our quality mark, Leading Lights.
Into the future
As we put together our new strategy, we’re working with Respect and Social Finance on how we challenge perpetrators of high-risk domestic abuse. And we regularly host On Purpose associates for six month placements, developing the next generation of social enterprise leaders.
Safer Lives is an organisation working predominantly in West Yorkshire and the North of England. If you are trying to contact Safer Lives, please visit their website for further information. Please note that Safer Lives is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, SafeLives.