Maidstone Borough Council’s Community Protection Team is working with partner agencies including KCC Early Help, Clarion Housing, Choices, Child’s Vision and Kent Police to deliver the events and has another seminar planned for 12 May 2021.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, instances of domestic abuse in the UK and globally have risen, as people have found themselves trapped at home with an abusive partner, spouse or other adult. At the same time, GPs have switched from face-to-face consultations to phone, digital and video – so-called ‘remote’ consultations, potentially increasing risk to people reporting violence.
The Maidstone DA Forum online ‘Cradle to Grave’ seminars are led by experienced members of the partnership agencies and cover the cycle of abuse from birth to death outlining the perspective of the types and effects of abuse across a person’s life. The events are targeted at professionals who may come into contact with potential sufferers of abuse and highlight ways to support them.
The seminars also provide professionals with the tools and knowledge to spot the signs of abuse, and the ability to act in a way that best helps those at risk, generally by way of a referral to an intervening or support agency.
MBC and all agencies who provide support for victims have continued to work throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and although the support may have changed, it is still there.
Derek Mortimer, Chair of MBC Communities, Housing and Environment Committee said:
“These events were held to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse or in danger of becoming a victim.
“We realise that during the Covid lockdowns there has been an increase in the number of people at risk and it has become more difficult for some to seek help. The Maidstone DA Forum has hosted the seminars to provide reassurance that help is still available for those people who are feeling trapped inside with no escape from an abusive or emotionally controlling partner.”
“The team has arrangements in place to ensure that staff in schools and our services remain focused on keeping in regular contact with families, especially those known to be more vulnerable, and we remind all key workers who have contact with families to remain vigilant and professionally curious.”
Professionals who would like more details or to register for the next seminar on Wednesday 12 May between 09.30 and 12.30hrs should contact MBCs James Walker by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or anyone you know needs support and advice or if a victim is thinking of fleeing during isolation please don't hesitate to contact the following agencies;
Choices Domestic Abuse Services: 0800 917 9948 (covers Medway)
Clarion Domestic Abuse Support Service – KIDAS lead provider - 0800 2800367
Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse service: 0808 168 9111 (covers Kent)
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
Womens Aid: www.womensaid.org.uk