To quickly exit this site - click here
Our mobile site is coming soon!
Blog

Blog

Anonymous Voter Registration

Posted on

With the news of the upcoming general election, the issue of anonymous voter registration has again come to the fore. Nottinghamshire Rape Crisis Centre have led the way in campaigning on this locally, with huge achievements being made in terms of their consultation with The Electoral Commission and the Cabinet Office, alongside Women’s Aid and Mehala Osborne’s high profile national campaign.

There are three key reasons why the existing provisions for voting anonymously exclude thousands of domestic abuse survivors:

  • The evidence required in order to register anonymously relates exclusively to the criminal justice system – despite the fact that fewer than half of domestic abuse survivors have involved the police
  • The application requires a “letter of attestation” from a narrow range of very senior public sector figures, not easily accessible to most survivors
  • The process ignores the fact that many survivors are at risk for many years, sometimes their whole lives, and should be eligible to register anonymously at any time, with no expiry date

You may remember our jubilation last year when Cabinet Office Minister Chris Skidmore MP committed the Government to removing any barriers that prevent survivors from exercising their democratic rights. He launched a policy document for consultation, with responses due at the end of this month, in time for the local elections next year. However, the calling of a snap general election means that those changes won’t have been implemented in time for June 8th, and many survivors of domestic abuse are facing the same issues as before.

Women’s Aid and the Electoral Commission have therefore produced a short Joint Guide to support survivors of domestic abuse to register to vote anonymously. The guide is aimed at professionals working with survivors, and includes helpful advice on the anonymous registration application process and some frequently asked questions. Please note that the deadline for anonymous voter registration is Wednesday 31 May 2017.

You can download the guide here.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

We’re Hiring – Domestic Abuse Support Worker for Men

Posted on

Equation is looking for a passionate, positive individual to join our men’s service team and help provide support to male survivors of domestic abuse.

Working with Equation, you’ll be part of an innovative and award-winning charity who work to prevent and respond to domestic abuse throughout Nottinghamshire.

The successful candidate will be responsible for providing a high-quality service to survivors, enabling them to make long-term positive and sustainable changes in their lives and to recover from the harm of domestic violence and abuse.

The successful candidate will bring with them a thorough understanding of the complexities and effects of domestic violence and experience of undertaking domestic violence risk assessments and managing risk.

Equation are a small, positive and efficient team which will number 20 at the start of the contract.

The post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and the successful applicant will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

 

Job details

Working hours: 22.5 – 30 hours, to be confirmed. We support flexible working.

Working term: 1-year initial contract, which may be extended subject to funding

Salary: Scale 5 – 6, Spinal Point 22-28, £20,253 – £24, 472 pro rata

 

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 9.00am Thursday the 11th May 2017.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview on Wednesday 17th May 2017.

Email your application to admin@equation.org.uk and we will confirm that we have received it.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Stalkers are Avoiding Custodial Sentences

Posted on

New figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal that offenders convicted of stalking or harassment who repeatedly breach their restraining orders often escape with fines and non-custodial sentences.

Politicians and victim support groups warn that lives are being put at risk by this failure to take action against repeat offenders who habitually breach the orders, which can be imposed for a range of offences including domestic violence and coercive control.

MoJ figures reveal that almost two-thirds of those who breached their orders received a non-custodial sentence. Even when the offender had committed multiple breaches, a custodial term was unlikely.

“Stalking victims are being put at great risk when police, CPS and courts fail to uphold restraining orders and allow breaches to go unpunished,” said Claire Waxman, a stalking survivor who founded the charity Voice4Victims.

“This gives the stalker the belief that their behaviour is acceptable and that the order is meaningless. The victim suffers further trauma as they realise that they are powerless and that this legal intervention does not deter their abuser, nor provide any real security or protection. The victim is left vulnerable and fearful of what will come next.”

Given that a recent study by the University of Gloucestershire found that stalking was present in 94% of the 358 cases of criminal homicides they looked at, this lack of serious consequences for stalking perpetrators is deeply troubling. “Practically every case we looked at featured examples of the obsessive, fixated behaviour that typifies stalking,” researcher Dr Jane Monckton Smith said.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which runs the National Stalking Helpline, warned that failure to take action on stalking could lead to an escalation in violence and potentially death. It called on courts to recognise stalking as a broader problem and pattern of behaviour.

Stalking could present itself in acts such as rearranging a victim’s garden furniture, sending unwanted gifts, loitering on the pavement outside their house, or even calling social services to maliciously report “poor” parenting.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Activist Guide for Local Elections

Posted on

EVAW (The End Violence Against Women Coalition) has launched an ‘activist pack‘ to help anyone who wants to campaign on violence against women and girls find and approach candidates in the 4 May local elections.

On 4 May 2017 there are elections in many parts of the UK, including in Nottinghamshire. Many of those who are elected will have a say in funding decisions and will be well placed to encourage local public services – like the police, health and transport – to prioritise tackling violence against women and girls.

You can use their Activist Guide to help locate candidates and for advice on what to say. They have also created template letters to Local Council candidates and there is a VAWG Factsheet if you need to get hold of local VAWG data for your campaigning.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Two Thirds of Women in Refuges Have Their Children With Them

Posted on

The national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid is highlighting the number of mothers and children living in domestic abuse refuges, releasing startling new statistics from its Annual Survey 2016.

The Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2016 found that:

● On a typical day, two thirds of women in refuges had their children with them
● On a typical day, 78 women and 78 children were turned away from refuge
● More women and children were turned away from refuges than were let in

Refuges provide life-saving support, shelter and the chance to rebuild lives. However, the long-term future of refuges is in jeopardy due to changes to ‘supported housing’ funding. Refuges are bearing the brunt of local authority funding cuts; the Women’s Aid Annual Survey found that a third of domestic abuse services run part of their service with no dedicated funding at all.

The Government has stepped in with emergency funding several times, but a long term commitment to funding is vital to save refuges and save lives.

 

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“We found that, on one typical day in a refuge, two thirds of the women there have their children with them. The horror of domestic abuse – of fleeing your home and running for your life – means that these mothers often struggle to support their traumatised children, who have nothing left of their old lives except for mum.

This is a hugely stressful and painful time. But, the specialist support provided by refuges means that these women and children have the expertise they need to rebuild and recover. They are the lucky ones: due to a lack of space, 78 women and 78 children could be turned away from a refuge on any given day.

In fact, throughout the year, more women and children were turned away from refuges than were able to get in, showing just how huge the demand is for refuges.”

 

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

WAIS Survivors Create Historic Change in Legal Aid Across the UK

Posted on

Women’s Aid Integrated Services are pleased to announce that the courage and contribution of WAIS service users has brought about a major change in the legal aid system throughout the UK. This will affect every woman going through the family law courts who has experienced domestic violence and abuse.

WAIS were put forward to the Ministry of Justice by Women’s Aid England in August 2016, allowing officials to hear first hand from service users just how the widely criticised rules affected and prevented women from seeking legal representation in disputed family court hearings.

The review of legal aid has led to the government announcing that it will now scrap rules requiring survivors to prove they’ve experienced abuse in the past five years in order to apply for legal aid.

The second major change also means that survivors will be able to draw upon a much wider pool of resources to evidence abuse – which will also include records and statements from domestic abuse charities like WAIS and other organisations working with survivors.

Val Lunn, Chief Executive Officer at WAIS stated “We welcome the changes in the rules. We’re pleased that the Ministry of Justice listened to what survivors had to say and we’re very proud of the women who were willing to share painful and upsetting experiences in order to make the situation better for other women in the future. Our job as an organisation is not just to provide services to women and children but also to highlight unfair rules and systems. This is a victory for women and for common sense”.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive Officer at Women’s Aid England has written a personal letter of thanks to the survivors who attended the meeting. In her letter she wrote “I hope it reassures you to know that your courage was genuinely the deciding factor in achieving change in this case”.

The courage of these women now means that others who find themselves in a similar position can access safety and justice through the law. It wouldn’t have happened without them. We’ll be celebrating with a tea party in April!

Read more in this Guardian article.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Tougher Sentences for So-Called ‘Revenge Porn’

Posted on

The devastating effects of sharing sexual images without consent can never be underestimated, so it is welcome news that the Sentencing Council have launched a consultation on proposed rules for judges and magistrates when punishing so-called ‘revenge porn’ perpetrators in England and Wales.

Revenge porn offenders who send explicit pictures to the families of their victims or who set up websites to magnify their targets’ humiliation will face the most severe penalties under new sentencing proposals.

Circulating revenge pornography carries a maximum jail term of two years, so those who send pictures to their victims’ families or set up websites could soon face prison terms at the upper end of this scale.

The guidelines are the first to give advice to courts under new laws covering the sharing of “private sexual images”, which has only been an offence since April 2015. More than 200 prosecutions have since been brought. Previously, offenders had to be prosecuted under copyright or harassment laws and victims often found it difficult to have images taken down.

Defendants who circulate pictures widely, or in large numbers, will also be placed in the most serious bracket.

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said: “Revenge porn is an awful abuse of trust which can leave victims feeling humiliated and degraded. It is right that our courts recognise the severity of this crime.”

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Safeguarding Children & Young People Training

Posted on

The Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board is delivering training sessions on Safeguarding Children and Young People from Child Sexual Exploitation.  The aim of the course is to increase awareness of child sexual exploitation amongst staff who work directly with young people and to enable them to respond appropriately and confidently to concerns or disclosures of such exploitation, and manage cases effectively.

This course provides an in depth understanding of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) indicators and risks, grooming models including the use of the internet, and equips participants with the knowledge and confidence to manage disclosures and suspicions of CSE effectively and in accordance with LSCB procedures.

Participants are expected to have undertaken some level of broader safeguarding training, and to have completed the e-learning on Child Sexual Exploitation which can be accessed here.

 

Learning outcomes

  • Understand issues related to child sexual exploitation, the different ways it can occur and the associated legislation
  • Be able to identify factors which may leave children and young people exposed to sexual exploitation
  • Be able to recognise signs and indicators of child sexual exploitation
  • Be able to manage suspicions and disclosures effectively and take appropriate action
  • Be able to act in accordance with Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City Safeguarding

    Children Board Child Sexual Exploitation Practice Guidance and Pathways

     

     

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.52.20 pm

Further information, including an application form, can be found here.

 

 

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Sex & Relationships Education to be Made Compulsory

Posted on

We welcome the news that sex and relationships education is to be made compulsory in all schools in England. The Education Secretary Justine Greening recently confirmed this policy shift following months of campaigning from charities and MPs.

The current curriculum is years out of date and does not reflect the dangers faced by young people today. We’ve been pioneering education about healthy relationships for children and young people for many years now. Our award-winning GREAT Project helps primary school children to understand abuse and positive relationships, while our work in secondary schools tackles gangs, sexting and coercive control. It is hugely encouraging to know that all schools will be obliged to deliver expert, up to date education on these vital subjects rather than just some.

All children from the age of four will be taught about safe and healthy relationships and children in secondary schools will be given age-appropriate lessons about sex. A YouGov poll from Barnardo’s children’s charity earlier this year found 74 per cent of 11-15 year-olds said they would feel safer if they were taught about sex and relationships in school. The Government’s announcement will mean all schools across England are now bound by the same obligation and must include lessons on the dangers of online pornography, sexting and sexual harassment.

 

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Equation is Recruiting for a Marketing Executive

Posted on

Equation, the domestic abuse prevention charity, has an exciting opportunity to join our marketing team.

This role is an integral part of the wider team. Reporting to the Head of Fundraising, you will work with the Heads of Service and co-ordinators to ensure that all Equation’s external communications are professional, on brand and high quality. This work supports the success of Equation’s services and the generation of income for Equation’s work against domestic abuse.

You should have experience within a marketing role and be able to take on multiple tasks within a busy team. Responsibilities will include branding, social media, website and internal and external communications.

By working with Heads of Service you will ensure that Equation’s strategy is implemented successfully in order to continue and grow the work we deliver.

This role will suit someone who has an interest in our charitable work and you should be able to demonstrate how this will enable you to be successful in this role.

Equation offers a generous 26-days’ holiday allowance plus bank holidays (pro rata), gives employees flexibility on working times, and commits to continuing professional development of its staff through a variety of training opportunities. We are a small, positive and efficient team which will number 18 at the start of the contract.

Working hours: 22.5 hours per week

Working term: Fixed Term for one year – may be extended subject to successful fundraising

Salary: NJC Scale 5, Spinal Column Pt 22-25, £20, 263 – £22, 212 (pro rata)

How to apply

Download the application pack using the links and return your details to us according to the instructions on the application form.

Person Specification

Job Description

Application Form

The deadline for applications is 9.00 am, Monday 20th March 2017. 

Candidates will be contacted by phone in the first instance. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview, to be held on Tuesday 28th March 2017.

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone