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Sheffield Services

For a list of domestic and sexual abuse services in Sheffield and South Yorkshire please go to our links page

 

Urban view of Sheffield with pink tram going through centreThere have been big changes to the delivery of domestic and sexual abuse services in Sheffield over the years. Historically, services for women and children were often pioneered by passionate individuals, starting with one of the first Women's Aid refuges in the countery in 1974. The number of small local charities grew over time, offering community based services and specialist BME and young women's servcies, in direct response to service users' needs. The voluntary sector organisations worked collaboratively with 'champions' in the statutory sector who understood the need for a more holistic approach to tackling the issues.

vida was set up [as Sheffield Domestic Violence Forum] in the mid-nineties to act as a multi-agency forum for discussion with a lead role in strategic working, training and awareness-raising and later as a specialist service provider. As the costs of domestic abuse, and of not taking action to tackle it, were increasingly recognised by statutory bodies [such as the Home Office, Police, CPS, NHS], local and national government began to support and fund voluntary sector organisations to safeguard women and their children. In 2007 Sheffield was recognised as one of the best 10 areas in the country for domestic and sexual abuse service provision (EVAW Map of Gaps, 2007).

vida secured EHRC funding in 2010 to create a single Domestic Abuse Helpline Service for Sheffield, co-located with other voluntary and statutary sector professionals, and developed a more streamlined pathway to safety and support. We also worked in partnership to extend services to men experiencing abuse, and to target hard to reach groups.

By working together agencies can identify and respond to domestic abuse much earlier and more effectively - to support those affected and to hold perpetrators to account.

Where cases are assessed as at high risk of serious harm, using the DASH Tool, this will include referral to the voluntary sector Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service [IDVAS], and into the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference process [MARAC] to ensure a swift response by different agencies to everyone involved: victims, perpetrators and any children or young people in the household.

There is now a good range of services in place to respond to the immediate needs of those affected by abuse, and work continues to develop more of the recovery and empowerment services that are so crucial to meeting their longer term needs.

vida's focus is now very much on making our therapeutic services more accessible to women from a broader range of ages, backgrounds and abilities, supporting them to recover and move on with their lives, while building resilience to future harm for themselves and their children - working from a needs-led, strengths based approach to achieve change that lasts.