Research tells us that victims can go to as many as five agencies before they find appropriate help, advice and support. By having Domestic Abuse (DA) Champions in many agencies, the aim is to dramatically reduce this number and provide a more joined up approach. In order to work effectively with victims and to ensure their safety, professionals need to have a common understanding of the issues and have the ability to co-ordinate their efforts and work more efficiently. We need to disseminate a good understanding of domestic violence among professionals in all agencies in a way that ensures that the information is of a good quality and up to date.
The Champion is seen as the lead for domestic abuse issues within their agency or unit and acts as the contact in and out of that unit/agency. They will be able to advise their colleagues on management of individual cases and ensure that they are aware of and have access to local resources and support. Champions will understand how other Champions can assist in supporting, helping and advising a victim of domestic abuse and their dependants, and have access to a database of other champions' details so that they can contact them directly.
What is the Champion’s role?
- You will be the DVA contact for your organisation/service area or community
- You will cascade DVA awareness
- Champions on the frontline within their profession can identify victims and refer them to local resources and support
- You will be the link between your organisation/service area or community and other Champions
- You will be kept up to date on DVA issues so as to cascade widely within your community or organisation
- You will have the opportunity to attend DVA network meetings in order to meet other Champions to expand your knowledge as well as share best practice
You do not need to be a frontline worker to be a champion you just need to be passionate about raising awareness in a safe way.