Trevi is cited in the second hearing of the Domestic Abuse Bill
It was an historic day yesterday as the Domestic Abuse (DA) Bill was read in parliament for the second time. The DA Bill is a chance to pass a law that has the potential to affect and save thousands of lives – taking our country closer to ending domestic abuse. As it was the second reading, it means that there are now only a few more chances to make changes to the Bill.
Trevi was cited during the hearing within the context of the 2019 ‘Breaking Down the Barriers report’ – a report on the findings of the National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage. The report includes Trevi as an example of best practice where women, who have in many cases been the subject of domestic abuse, are given the opportunity to gain therapeutic rehabilitation whilst their child remains in their care. During their rehab, mothers are also given effective parenting support – the results of which can be transformative.
After 27 years of operation, Trevi now supports more than 550 women and children every year – providing safe and nurturing spaces for women and their families to heal, grow and thrive. Trevi’s vision is for a society where all women in recovery can access good quality, psychologically informed, gender-based interventions without apology.
Domestic abuse remains a huge issue for the women support by all three services that Trevi provides.
Trevi runs the only residential rehabilitation centre in the UK where children get to stay with their mothers. The centre, Jasmine Mother’s Recovery, formerly known as Trevi House, takes referrals from across the UK and can accommodate up to 10 women and their children at the same time. Jasmine is a trauma informed service; as well as working with the presenting issues of substance misuse / parenting concerns, the centre aims to address the underlying trauma that many women have experienced. Facilities include eight residential rooms, two family apartments, a therapy lodge, and an Ofsted registered nursery for children to be looked after during therapy times.
Jasmine’s dedicated and expert team works with each mother to help her break her addiction for good and to be the best mother she can be. And the results speak for themselves: 98% of women who go to Jasmine Mother’s Recovery successfully detox and almost 8 out of 10 children get to stay with their mother.
In 2019 a carried out by the University of Nottingham, found that for women who attend Jasmine Mother’s Recovery, their previous life experiences have been very challenging. The study found that more than three quarters of women who were referred to Trevi over a ten-year period had experienced domestic abuse and 65% had experienced abuse in their childhood. Other challenges experienced included criminal justice system involvement, mental health services involvement, parental substance misuse, previous children removed, housing issues, care experience (childhood), self-harm/ suicide attempts and sex work.
The study concluded that in a financial climate where austerity measures are putting increasing pressure on public services and simultaneously increasing numbers of children are being removed from their parents and taken into local authority care – at a rate of 1 every 16 minutes, Jasmine Mother’s Recovery offers an ethical and cost-effective long-term saving.
Trevi also runs a Sunflower Women’s Centre in the community. Every year, Sunflower supports and empowers more than 500 local women, many with complex needs and experience of trauma and abuse. This could include addictions, mental well-being, health, criminogenic behaviours, domestic abuse, and social isolation.
Sunflower’s compassionate and aspirational team of Practitioners ensures a personalised package of support. This includes accredited training, group work, counselling, creative therapies, drop-in women’s space, fitness classes, parenting support, peer mentoring and much more.
During the pandemic, Sunflower has experienced a dramatic rise in the number of referrals linked to domestic abuse, particularly during or after the lockdown periods. As we enter lockdown #3 – during the colder, darker months where families are likely to be trapped inside more and at a time where financial instability is high for many families – the charity is deeply concerned for women and children’s welfare.
During 2020, Trevi campaigned alongside other charities including Action for Children to ensure that under the Bill children are recognised as victims of domestic abuse in their own right. Last year the Bill was successfully amended to include this.
Hannah Shead, CEO of Trevi states: ‘This bill marks a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the safety of women and children and I welcome the amendments that recognise children as victims in their own right.
It is a sad truth that as we enter another national lockdown, the risk to women from domestic abuse will increase. It is therefore more important than ever that we take this opportunity to make the changes outlined in this Bill’.
The Domestic Abuse Bill will now go before a committee in the House of Lords.
To keep up to date with the Bill, please visit https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/domesticabuse.html