Twenty members of laity and clergy attended Domestic Abuse Champion training in November at the Police and Crime Commissioners Office.
They will join an extensive network (over 850) of Champions who have been trained since 2013 within the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.
Training Champions within the faith sector is a new development for the Police and Crime Commissioners Office and assists the Diocese in implementing the Church of Englands policy for Responding Well to Domestic Abuse (www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk and www.churchofengland.org).
The Champions Network is supported by a Steering Group made up of the Domestic and Sexual Violence leads within local authorities in the Northumbria Police Force area and Champions are kept informed of training, up to date information about services and events as well as offering each other peer support.
Domestic Abuse Champions within the Diocese will help us improve our response to any individual affected by domestic abuse and raise awareness about how this issue impacts on the church. The names of our Champions will be circulated in due course.
Some recent research in Carlisle Diocese highlighted that a lot of people within churches didnt think domestic abuse was an issue that affected members of their church this is clearly not the case.
On Sunday 25 November, Evensong at the Cathedral is dedicated to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (this is the day designated by the United Nations General Assembly). The day is also known as White Ribbon Day(www.whiteribbon.org.uk) and marks the start of 16 days of action to campaign for the end of violence against women and girls. The South Transept in the Cathedral will have a prayer space and resources for anyone to access during this period.
As a church we stand against violence and abuse in any relationship and recognise that men and boys are affected by domestic violence and abuse, however the statistics (for every three people affected by domestic abuse two are female and one is male) demonstrate this is a more significant issue for women.
If your church would like to hold a domestic abuse awareness-raising session please get in touch with a member of the safeguarding team and we will come and facilitate a one to two session for you.