Domestic abuse survivors in St Helens to share their experiences
Survivors of domestic abuse will bravely share their lived experiences with the launch of a new, monthly public forum at the Chrysalis Centre on October 15.
The Survivors’ Forum is an innovative collaboration between St Helens Borough Council and the Chrysalis Centre for Change, a mental health and domestic abuse charity based in St Helens that offers a wide range of services for women in the borough and surrounding areas.
The monthly event will begin to capture the experiences of survivors, raise awareness of the issue and help shape the wider partnership of local services that seek to prevent and respond to domestic abuse.
The launch event takes place on Friday, October 15, 1:30pm-2:30pm at the Chrysalis Centre, Beacon Building, College Street, WA10 1TF.
If you want to learn more about the Survivors’ Forum and participate in the discussion, please contact the council’s Domestic Abuse Prevention Officer, Shana Begum, by emailing [email protected]
Residents will also be able to drop in on the day to hear from survivors and local support services, including Safe2Speak.
Julie Roby, Chrysalis Centre manager, said: "Chrysalis Centre for Change is delighted to host the Survivors’ Forum as we are passionate about our community and tackling the issue of domestic abuse in St Helens Borough.
“Victims of domestic abuse need a safe and reassuring environment, time to heal and therapeutic services that can match their needs for connection and building trust, where they can focus on making positive and lasting changes while processing their past experiences and connecting to others.
“Sadly we’ve seen rates of domestic abuse increasing significantly over the last 18 months, made worse by the pandemic, so it’s important that we take an honest look at what we can all do to address this.”
Although the Chrysalis Centre specialises in services for women only, the organisation is passionate about promoting positive mental health for all and with its strong connections with many other local services, they are well placed to advise and signpost all people to the right support.
The voices of male survivors of domestic abuse will also be captured by the council-commissioned integrated recovery service Change, Grow, Live (CGL).
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Domestic abuse is everyone’s business. We cannot allow it to happen and to happen in silence. My priority since coming into post has been to raise awareness and tackle the very real problem of domestic abuse that's been prevalent in our community for so long.
“Listening to the voices of survivors is crucial in understanding their needs, and how local services can be shaped and improved.
“So we want to encourage open and honest conversations about domestic abuse, to bring about real meaningful and lasting change. By undertaking this work, we let other people in the community know, you are not alone, we can help.”
You can also contact Safe2Speak, the local domestic abuse support service led by Torus. They offer free, confidential, supportive, informative, non-judgmental and available to anyone experiencing domestic abuse of any kind: sexual, physical, emotional or financial.
If you need help call Safe2Speak on 01744 743200 or visit safe2speak.co.uk. For emergency accommodation in relation to domestic abuse you can contact the 24-hour Safe2Speak helpline on 01925 220541.