“We know that communities are often the first to know about abuse, and that they can act as gate openers or gate closers in terms of help seeking.”

People within a survivor’s community are often the first to know that domestic abuse is happening. But lack of understanding and confidence can make people afraid to talk about it, and unsure of how to respond when someone speaks out. Survivors have told us they can feel judged, isolated or silenced by the people around them.

We are changing that through the Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme, developed in partnership between Women’s Aid Federation of England and Welsh Women’s Aid. Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland are delivering this programme in partnership with Mid- Ulster Women’s Aid.

The project is a simple initiative that equips everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors. This knowledge will enable the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse.

Being a Change that Lasts Community Ambassador

We offer free 12 hour training courses to members of the local community from all backgrounds and identities where they learn about domestic abuse, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support.

Anyone with a connection to the area where the Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme is running can become an ambassador, whether you have been personally affected by domestic abuse or whether you would like to learn more.

After the training, ambassadors are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. An ambassador can commit as much or as little time as they can give.

We keep in touch with Community Ambassadors with new opportunities and events such as ambassador meet-ups, campaign involvement and volunteering. We also send short surveys to find out how they are getting on and how we can support them further.

If you would like to get involved and become a Community Ambassador please complete the Expression of Interest Form.

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