10th December 2021
On Friday 26 November, our Pioneers participated in a webinar for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) sharing their experience of engaging with HMPPS as a victim and survivor of domestic abuse. Sharing what good can look like so that front line professionals can scale what works well and where there is need to change and develop services from their experience of poor practice.
One Pioneer spoke of her recent visit to a female prison with her CIC, and how powerful the session with black and brown women was, with many women disclosing their own experiences of domestic abuse.
There were some clear takeaways from the webinar for HMPPS. Firstly, we received such positive feedback after hearing the voices of those who have experienced abuse. Victims become survivors and it is important to acknowledge that early in the process and to think about language.
Communication is always key, as are equitable relationships built on trust with clear understanding of roles and responsibilities as survivors are likely to be involved with the services provided for a long time. Professionals might know the terminology and process people will go through, but this is new to survivors.
The need for a culturally competent response to domestic abuse by all within the prison and probation services was really clear – there are absolutely additional barriers faced by black and minoritised women that are not always well understood by those working in HMPPS (or other sectors). Those who have experienced domestic abuse should be heard when they request protective conditions and give their thoughts on day release.
Ultimately, HMPPS need to hear the voices of those who experience domestic abuse and communicate effectively in a way that meets their needs.
That is the mark of a truly domestic abuse informed prison and probation service.