Wednesday 14 May 2014
The Home Department is launching a survey to ask local survivors of domestic abuse about their needs and experiences in terms of seeking and receiving services in relation to domestic abuse. It will be used to help inform the next Domestic Abuse Strategy for Guernsey and Alderney and to provide recommendations for local agencies and States Departments on how they might improve their services.
Deputy Peter Gillson, Minister of the Home Department said:
"The Home Department is currently updating the Domestic Abuse Strategy for Guernsey and Alderney which is due to go back to the States in the Autumn this year. To assist with this, it is really important for us to fully understand what the priorities are for domestic abuse survivors when they contact agencies for support and the extent to which they have had their service expectations met.
Because domestic abuse is such a hidden problem, agencies supporting families sometimes only see part of the picture - we would encourage anybody who is, or has in the past, experienced domestic abuse to complete this survey to help us to deliver effective services and make evidence-informed policies."
Fiona Richmond, Domestic Abuse Strategy Coordinator said:
"A great deal of research has taken place nationally concerning the needs of domestic abuse survivors, but it is really important for us to consider the local context. People living in Guernsey and Alderney often face additional barriers to escaping an abusive relationship compared to those living in the UK. For instance, there may be issues related to their housing licensing status. Local people may also be more prone to ongoing stalking and harassment and abuse once the relationship has ended as living in a small island means that it is hard to avoid contact with your abuser.
There are also significant differences in terms of what services and support are available locally in terms of medical, mental and emotional health services, welfare and medical benefits, sexual violence services and emergency/ temporary accommodations for survivors with physical and other disabilities, or for victims who have several children. People experiencing abuse require a holistic package of support and we hope that through the survey they will tell us about their views, needs and experiences to ensure that service delivery can continue to be developed and improved."
Dr Maggie Costen, Chair of Safer LBG, a local charity which oversees two of the services funded by the Domestic Abuse Strategy, said:
"It is hoped that as well as providing feedback about local services, the survey will also raise awareness of the support that is currently available locally to for those experiencing domestic abuse and violence. If you are in this situation, we would urge you to get in touch with the Safer helpline (257652) or the refuge (721999) where staff will be able to help you to access the areas of support that you may require. Our aim is to provide the services which match people's needs. To do this well we do need feedback from those who have in the past or at present are experiencing domestic abuse in its various forms."
The survey will be available from 15 May until 15 June 2014. It is anonymous and takes around 10 to 25 minutes to complete.
To fill out the survey please visit: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2ZTNRMZ
If you are concerned about completing the survey online or do not have access to a computer, paper copies can also be completed at the Guille-Alles Library, the Housing Department, Sir Charles Frossard House or the Social Security Department at Edward T Wheadon House, Le Truchot, St Peter Port.