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How our teams helped a domestic abuse survivor

Nadia Head Shot

Our local community safety teams work with residents experiencing domestic abuse. However, some residents prefer to speak with a familiar face. For many, this is their local Neighbourhood Manager. 

Published: 07/12/2023

We caught up with Neighbourhood Manager, Nadia, to learn more about how she works with the community safety team to ensure she's providing the right support and advice. 

Nadia says: "I know that many people can experience domestic abuse for a long time without realising what’s happening to them or because they're just too afraid or embarrassed to speak to someone about it. 

"A resident I've previously worked with was experiencing very similar circumstances to this. She contacted us after almost 20 years of abuse. Her abuser not only physically hurt her but also controlled her money, who she saw and where she went. She only had around an hour a day to herself when her partner walked the dog." 

To ensure anonymity, we'll refer to Nadia's resident as Sarah. Nadia listened to Sarah as she shared her story: "She told me that her relationship with her son was suffering because of the abuse and that she was worried about how this was affecting him. She was at breaking point and I felt this was a high-risk case. 

"I worked with the community safety team and Sarah to put in place two exit plans. We agreed there should be two plans because of the high-risk nature of Sarah's situation – we wanted an alternative in case we couldn't follow the first plan." 

A big part of supporting residents is working with external agencies and partners, such as the police and local authorities. Nadia explains how this worked in Sarah's case: "We worked closely with the local police service, her Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), and the local authority to help get her abuser arrested and provide emergency accommodation for Sarah. Once we had agreed on the exit plan, the whole process took a few months as we had to help build the evidence against her abuser. The most important aspect was to ensure Sarah was safe throughout." 

What happened next? 

We continued to work with Sarah, supporting her to rebuild her life slowly. Nadia explains: "We referred her to employment services and a free IT Skills course. We also managed to provide a free laptop for Sarah through funding to help her with her course.  

"I'm still in touch with her and regularly check in to see how she's doing. Understandably, Sarah finds it hard to trust people. Over time, we've built a strong level of understanding, and I want to continue encouraging her to develop and grow in confidence." 

What is domestic abuse? 

Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour. This is usually by a partner or ex-partner, but it can also be a family member or carer.  

How we can help 

Once you've contacted us, we'll put you in touch with your local Community Safety team. A specialist from the team will be in touch at a time that's safe for you. They'll work with you to agree on an action plan that'll include:  

  • Staying in touch safely.  
  • Help increase your home's security and find legal advice or counselling services. 
  • Working with specialist domestic abuse services.  

If you'd like to speak to someone, please contact us and ask to speak to someone from the Resident Safety and ASB Hub.  

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