Local domestic abuse charity awarded £299,832 from Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust: Families in Stress

This is a partnership project with SDAS, Portsmouth City Council, University of Portsmouth and Royal Navy/Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW) Service. SDAS will provide and evaluate a healthy relationships programme for Royal Navy (RN) personnel and their families: working with those using unhealthy relationships and/or domestic violence and abuse, including support for both partners.

This innovative approach works therapeutically to create healthy relationships.

The roll out of this project ‘Up2U: Armed Forces’ will provide intervention and support for Royal Navy families where domestic violence and abuse is an identified issue. As many Royal Navy families move around the UK it was decided that rather than have a SDAS direct delivery only based project capacity would be developed from within the RNRMW team by training RNRMW staff across the UK. This project also upskills the RNRMW workforce and offers a sustainable programme.

Up2U is an innovative programme developed by Portsmouth City Council for people who use domestically abusive behaviours in their intimate partner relationships. The programme is evidence-based and has been developed in consultation with the support of a Quality Assurance Group consisting of representatives from Victim Services, Mental Health, Children’s Services, Substance Misuse Services and Health. It is based on research and practices successfully used in offender rehabilitation, motivational interviewing and attachment theory.

Up2U is based on current research and recognises that power/control is a factor in domestic violence and abuse, it also acknowledges that people can use domestic abuse for different underlying reasons ranging from childhood trauma and emotional deregulation, learned behaviour, attitudes that support gender differences, poor conflict resolution as well as the use of power and control resulting in different typologies of domestic abusers. Up2U is a client-focused assessment led intervention programme responding to individual need, risk and responsivity by offering tailored packages. Due to this design Up2U is able to work with all people who admit to using abusive/violent behaviours and want to change regardless of gender and sexuality and that can work with both partners in co-abusive relationships.

Training spaces are also to be offered to social workers within the Army and Royal Air Force. SDAS local direct delivery can be provided across the Tri-services.

Claire Lambon, CEO, said:“SDAS’s vision is a world without domestic abuse. We are committed to protecting and supporting victims of domestic abuse as well as providing interventions and support to those that use violence and unhealthy behaviours in their intimate partner relationships. This funding will support our continuing ambition to improve and expand local services. We are committed to partnership working to ensure that there is a co-ordinated community response model to domestic abuse and look forward to continuing to work with Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth whilst developing this new partnership with Royal Navy and Royal Marines Welfare.”

Portsmouth City Council Leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson said: “I’m glad that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund has enabled the funding for this domestic abuse service; which will help families and support with the development of healthy relationships.”

Southern Domestic Abuse Service provides services to women, children, young people and men that are affected by domestic abuse. If you need help, advice or support please contact them on 023 92 480 246, info@southerndas.org. or www.southerndas.org

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