Beacons: Step Down and Recovery programme briefing paper

Insight from our pilot programme supporting survivors to recover from harm, heal and build resilience

Beacons (formerly known as ‘Connect’) was a pilot programme of interventions providing support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. It ran between 2016 and 2021.

It’s not enough to merely make people safe from immediate danger. We need to create clear pathways of support to help them move on from the trauma of domestic abuse, and build confidence and resilience so they can thrive and live a life free from fear.

The Step Down and Recovery programme supported survivors of domestic abuse who were ‘stepping down’ from other services or programmes, with any ongoing needs to undo the trauma and impact of abuse. Some survivors were ‘stepping in’ to services for the first time, accessing help and support through groups or contact with a peer mentor.

Recovery was defined by how each person saw it or wanted it to be, and personalised goals were developed and worked towards. Survivors were supported in a range of areas including safety, mental health, children and parenting, and finance and debt.

Key findings

146 adult victims and survivors were supported between 1st November 2018 and 31st October 2020.

  • Victims experienced abused for 6 years on average
  • 46% experienced multiple types of abuse

229 children were involved in the cases.

  • 69% of participants had children and 6% were pregnant
  • In 14% of cases the children were aged 3 or under

    After support, survivors noted improvements in their feeling

  • 92%

    felt safer

  • 98%

    said their wellbeing had improved

  • 94%

    said they felt more confident

I enjoyed talking to other women about our experiences and banding together. The team made us feel so supported and listened to. I feel like I'm more entuned now to the fact that I didn't deserve the abuse, before I had been drilled into that I had deserved it.

Survivor, Step Down and Recovery programme

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