Powerful Hampshire project puts survivors at the heart of ending domestic abuse

SafeLives project will help transform Hampshire’s response to domestic abuse by ensuring survivor voices are at the centre of local policies and services. 

Today, SafeLives, a UK-wide charity working to end domestic abuse, has announced a new project across Hampshire that will ensure the voices, experiences and expertise of victims and survivors are at the heart of the region’s response to domestic abuse.

SafeLives has been commissioned by Hampshire County Council, on behalf of the Hampshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (HDAP) Board, to develop a Domestic Abuse Survivor Voice Panel to drive transformation within domestic abuse responses in Hampshire*. The two-year project will put local organisations and survivors at the heart of tackling domestic abuse by supporting them to share lived experience and develop best practice.

Join Hampshire’s Authentic Voice Panel

Central to this project, SafeLives is inviting local survivors to join its local panel of experts-by-experience. The Hampshire Authentic Voice Panel will see each member supported in sharing their experiences, insight and expertise to ensure that domestic abuse responses in the region reflect the needs of those they are designed to support. This means ensuring voices from across the community are heard, with a focus on ensuring a diverse, inclusive panel of survivors.

Importantly, the project will also create a safe and sustainable approach to incorporating the voices of children and young people in Hampshire, whose needs are often overlooked.

Dipty, a SafeLives Pioneer** shared her experience of using her authentic survivor voice to affect change:

Being a SafeLives Pioneer has been life changing. At so many points in my life I felt I did not have a voice, but now, with the support of SafeLives, I can use my experience and be that beacon of hope to others. In sharing our voices and being heard we are not just helping change one- or two-people’s lives, but thousands. As a survivor of domestic abuse, you don’t often have the opportunity to share what you’ve been through. But with SafeLives’ support, it’s incredible to think that by using your voice you are not only being heard, but changing lives.

Reflecting on the project, Sally Steadman, Head of Innovation at SafeLives said:

Survivor voice is central to our work to end domestic abuse – we know that survivors are best placed to help design and inform the services that support them. We are delighted that Hampshire recognises the need to put the authentic voice of survivors at the heart of their local domestic abuse response. We are inviting survivors to join the new Hampshire Authentic Voice panel where, with our dedicated support, you can use your voice and experience to drive change and save lives. As an expert by experience you can help transform Hampshire’s approach to domestic abuse, to ensure survivors and families across the region get the right support at the right time.

Simon Bryant, Director of Public Health at Hampshire County Council and Chair of the Hampshire Domestic Abuse Board said:

It is estimated that over 58,000 people over the age of 16 in Hampshire were subjected to domestic abuse in the last year. However, it remains largely a hidden crime with significant and devastating impacts on the health and wellbeing of victims, survivors and their families. To understand and address this abuse effectively requires listening to and learning from those who have experienced it firsthand. Hearing the voice of victims and survivors of domestic abuse is central to our commitment as the Hampshire Domestic Abuse Partnership to work together and tackle domestic abuse in all its forms.

Survivors wishing to learn more, and express interest can visit the SafeLives website for more information. The closing date is 19th July.

Embedding Authentic Voice Hampshire

Notes to editors

*excluding Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight.

** Experts by experience, SafeLives Pioneers use their own lived experiences of domestic abuse to change the world. Their voices inform everything we do, and together we aim to transform the response to domestic abuse in the UK – for every victim and survivor and their children.

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Embedding Authentic Voice: Hampshire

Our Authentic Voice (AV) project is transforming Hampshire’s response to domestic abuse by ensuring survivor voices are at the centre of local policies and services. 
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SafeLives isn't a domestic abuse service. But if you're experiencing domestic abuse or you're worried about a friend or family member, help is available.