Network for Christian survivors of Domestic Abuse
25% of UK Christian women experience domestic abuse. They need spiritual as well as practical support, but little provision exists and so they suffer in silence. We will pilot a national Christian support network so that they feel able to seek help and begin the healing process sooner.
February 2016 - January 2017
25% of Christian women in the UK have suffered domestic abuse. They struggle to reconcile those experiences with their faith, but lack appropriate support: At best, churches have little awareness of or training on the issue, and at worst some inadvertently condone abuse through teachings that some Christian men misinterpret. And few secular agencies incorporate a spiritual aspect in the help they offer. Thus many Christian women survivors of domestic abuse suffer in silence, year after year.
We will pilot a national Survivor’s Network for Christian women survivors of domestic abuse designed with input from users and safeguarding professionals. It will comprise area hubs where women can meet in person (we will train and equip local churches to run these) and an online forum. In these safe, confidential spaces women will be able to support each other in the context of their faith; be signposted to existing services; and access specialist spiritual and practical advice and resources.
Pilot area hubs with three churches (with a view to refining and extending nationally from 2017)
Activities» We have developed a hub framework; churches in 3 locations have agreed to host pilot hubs. We will work with them to refine the framework by May 2016.
» We will then help them to recruit, vet, brief and train volunteers and local church staff in readiness for launching the pilot in October 2016.
» We will research and identify 10+ further churches to partner with in Phase 2 (after the pilot ends) and start to develop plans with them.
» At the end of the pilot, with input from survivors and volunteers, we will review and refine the model in preparation for expanding the hub network.
3 pilots to have 30 survivors attending regularly by January 2017 (N.B.we estimate the potential to be 100+ churches serving 1000+ survivors within 3 years)
Develop a professionally moderated online forum for Christian women survivors of domestic abuse.
Activities» We have designed a safe, secure online forum framework with basic chat room and discussion threads for specific topics of interest.
» We will recruit a part-time Project Co-ordinator with the necessary credentials to moderate the forum (and develop other aspects of the Network).
» With input from forum users, we will add upgrades (e.g. resources to download; links to legal advice, domestic abuse services and Christian groups).
» We will launch the online forum nationally by April 2016 supported by promotion in Christian media (e.g. Premier Radio, Christianity magazine).
500+ Christian women survivors of abuse to be participating by January 2017 (rising to 1000 by end 2017) ; 40% of those to remain engaged for minimum of 3 months.
Develop centralised resources and services in preparation for the expansion of the area hub network.
Activities» We will work with area hubs to develop and produce resources where none exist to meet particular needs of volunteers or beneficiaries.
» We will develop systems to offer ongoing mentoring, advice and support to hubs and provide them with annual refresher training.
» We will launch a newsletter to keep hub teams updated on latest safeguarding best practice and legal requirements.
» We will develop plans for an annual conference at which hubs can exchange best practice and learning.
Active contribution by survivors and volunteers to the development process. 90%+ positive feedback from survivors and volunteers using resources and services.
Christian survivors of domestic abuse will feel able to come forward for help more quickly; they will feel better supported on their journey to healing; they will feel more informed and able to face and make difficult decisions about their future for the sake of their own wellbeing and that of their children. We will measure changes through baseline surveys and regular confidential feedback questionnaires amongst beneficiaries, which will also enable us to keep track of, and meet, their needs.
Safety and security of beneficiaries is our key concern; we have sought the input of safeguarding professionals and incorporated extensive best practice legal and safeguarding requirements at all levels including vetting and training of staff and volunteers involved. We have built extensive security protocols into the design of the online forum including ‘instant exit’ feature.
We will provide updates on the project at key review points (at least twice a year) including reporting on numbers using the services, key (anonymised) feedback from beneficiaries and volunteers involved, and plans for any refinements/developments.
Budget - Project Cost: £49,947Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £7,670 Online forum Hosting/design and ongoing moderation £3,085 Online forum Identification, design and implementation of upgrades £6,878 Area hubs planning Groundwork for pilot phase: Training of trainers, refinement of framework with pilot hub churches £3,900 Pilot hubs training 2 volunteer trainings a year at 3 locations including venue costs £5,828 Pilot hubs implementation Hosting costs, volunteer selection and management £6,170 Hubs national expansion New hubs: Research, identification and planning with 10+ churches £6,170 Hubs national expansion Central resource development inc newsletters, forum, volunteer training/mentoring programme £4,500 Publicity and resources Promotion of network; design/production of specialist new resources for survivors/volunteers £5,746 Management and admin Monitoring/evaluation/reporting; fundraising and admin support; share of overheads
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount The Joseph Rank Trust £6,000 Guaranteed Andrews Charitable Trust £4,000 Guaranteed
The online forum is virtual and accessible to English speakers from any part of the world, although it will be primarily targeted at UK users (and actively promoted through UK Christian media and Christian networks).
The pilot hubs are being run in partnership with three churches in Salisbury, London and N Ireland. They have self-selected to take part, being already interested in doing more to help end domestic abuse and support survivors.
Christian women survivors of domestic abuse, mainly in the UK, aged 18+. They may have left, or still be with, a partner who chooses to abuse them. Some will have internet access, but others will not, hence the need for both area hubs and the online forum. They will be made aware of the project through extensive PR in the Christian media and at Christian events, and via referral through our existing UK network of churches and Christian charities.
Restored aims to end violence against women (VAW) by partnering with church and other Christian networks. We raise awareness of VAW as an issue amongst Christians; advocate for legal reform and justice; and train and equip church and Christian networks to provide support to survivors and challenge the attitudes that promote abuse. We have developed this project in conjunction with a panel of Christian women survivors of domestic abuse, so we know that it meets their needs.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Co-director, project leader; 20 years' prevention of violence project experience ; media spokesperson; high influence Christian see http://ow.ly/PKQ.
Could let a survivor use the forum for a year.
“The worst part was feeling so totally alone. Having a network of other Christian women who understand will be invaluable.”