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Improving Support for People with Learning Disabilities Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Published at 10:46 am Wed Mar 24th, 2021

This toolkit has been created by the Ann Cattle trust to support people with Learning Disabilities who are experiencing domestic abuse.

About the toolkit

This toolkit has been developed to support people with a learning disability to identify and escape domestic abuse. The resources in this toolkit were developed from a mixture of source material including educational information by Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Services, and the vital contributions of project research participants, who provided a compelling picture of a lack of understanding of both domestic abuse and sources of help. We do not consider this toolkit to be the definitive accessible guide to domestic abuse. Rather, we hope it can provide a basis for to support accessibility, discussion, collaborative work and development.

What is domestic abuse?

• Abuse means ‘treating badly’. Domestic Abuse is when someone hurts or bullies their partner, their ex or someone in their family, regardless of whether the live together or not

• Domestic Abuse means the same as domestic violence.

• Domestic abuse is WRONG

• Domestic abuse is bad treatment that happens again and again

• There are different kinds of abusive behaviour like:

o Physical abuse

o Emotional abuse

o Sexual abuse

o Financial abuse

o Control

How to keep safe if you live with an abuser

• Keep Money and spare keys in a safe place if you can

• Find out about your rights and find an advocate if you can

• Keep copies of important papers in a safe place

• Carry emergency numbers for poive, family, friends and the Live Fear Free Helpline (0808 80 10 800)

• Use a friends phone or a phone box

• Tell your GP

• Think about safe ways to escape

• Call 999 if you are in danger

What support and help can you get?

• You can talk to someone you trust like a support worker

• You can call the Live Fear Free helpline, the number is 0808 8010 800 or text 078600 77333

• Local organisations can support you

Where can i go for help?

• The police-call 999 if you are in danger

• A local domestic abuse organisation

• Your local People First or other advocacy organisation

• A professional you trust, maybe a social worker, key worker, doctor or nurse

• Call a domestic abuse line (0808 2000 247)

What is a Refuge?

A refuge is a safe house where people can stay and not be afraid any more. There are more than 500 refuge’s in the UK and a helpline can help you find a refuge. Whilst at a refuge, the staff are there to support you. They will help you deal with what has happened and sort out your benefits. Some refuges are big with lots of space and others are quite small. Some only take specific people, such as women only, men only or from specific cultures. An assessment with a support worker will help to work out if a refuge is the best place for you and you should be able to go into the refuge on the same day.

Claire's Law

Claire’s Law was established in 2014 to help people keep safe in their relationships. It is named after Clare Wood who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. Anyone can use Claire’s Law to see if their partner has ever hurt anyone close to them in the past. To use the law, you just need to call the Police and state you’d like to use Claire’s Law.