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Independent domestic violence advisors (Idvas) are an advocate for victims of domestic abuse. They act as a single point of contact, supporting their clients to be safe from abuse and helping them to rebuild their lives. Over the last ten years at SafeLives we’ve trained over 2,100 Idvas, helping them to gain professional recognition for the vital work they do. SafeLives Communications Officer Ruth Davies caught up with Sharon Griffiths, who has just completed her Foundation Idva course.

Ruth: Hi Sharon, congratulations on completing your course! Could you tell me a bit about how you started working as an Idva?

Sharon: I’ve been working with victims of domestic abuse for about ten years. I started as a volunteer with Victim Support, working with victims of domestic and sexual abuse. I then became the Women’s Safety Worker at the probation service for two years, and I joined Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service as an Idva in April 2014.

What were the main things you took away from the training, and how do you think it will help you to support your clients?

It’s definitely made me more confident in my job – especially when I’m in a multi-agency setting and I have to professionally challenge to get the best outcome for my client. I also feel a lot more comfortable in advising clients about criminal and civil court procedures.

Does having an accredited qualification make a difference to the way you feel about your job?

To be honest, I never thought that having a qualification would matter to me. But now I’ve found that it’s increased my confidence. I’ve gained the experience and ability to support my clients better, and I’m confident that my input will make a difference to maintain their safety and empower them to move forward.

Now you’ve completed the training, what do you think you’ll do next?

I’m keen to share what I’ve learned with my colleagues, and often feed information back to them from the training materials. Depending on securing the funding, I’d love to do the Isva course – and I’m interested in the possibility of achieving the Diploma, although of course it depends on the funding.

Thanks so much for talking to us Sharon!

Thank you.


If you’d like to find out more about our courses for Idvas and other professionals, visit our training pages.