Women's aid group releases video saying 'we're here to help'
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A local women’s aid group has released a video on social media to promote the message that "We are here".
The video shows some of the team from Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid (CASWA) holding up signs that convey the reality and scope of domestic abuse.
The aim is to tell the community about the charity while giving an empowering statement of support to those it seeks to help.
Team leader Emma Fraser explained: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have promoted a consistent message – we are still here. Despite temporarily changing our mode of working to a remote working from home model, a key priority and goal for us has been the continuation of our service and we have been able to achieve this."
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, CASWA covers Caithness and Sutherland and provides support to women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.
The charity employs a team of 11 domestic abuse specialists who provide a therapeutic package of support to service users.
Manager Kate Blowers said: "As a service we are currently supporting 67 women and 47 children and young people and since March we have received 27 referrals.
"We are continuing to provide outreach services to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. We provide specialised safety planning, support planning, advocacy, emotional and practical support tailored to individual needs.
"The CASWA team support clients by phone, text, email and social media, and continue to accept new referrals from women, children, young people and partner agencies."
Highlighting the difficulties many have been facing during the coronavirus crisis, Emma explained: “Home is not a safe place for everyone. The very nature of lockdown may be a day-to-day reality facing women, children and young people who experience domestic abuse.
"Domestic abuse often means lockdown – a lockdown on rights, a lockdown on freedom and a lockdown on choice. For those who have left an abusive relationship, lockdown may have been a triggering reminder.
"We want people to know that we are here to listen, to support and to believe, whether they are currently experiencing domestic abuse or if they have experienced domestic abuse in the past.”
It is estimated that 100,000 children and young people in Scotland experience domestic abuse and CASWA wants to talk about it.
Emma added: “As a service we strive to be visible, but due to the nature of our work this can be difficult to achieve safely. Our team are passionate about tackling the stigma around domestic abuse and as a service we raise awareness and promote community education and understanding.
"We have been inspired by the videos circulating on social media by other groups and wanted to take the opportunity to develop our own. We want the Caithness and Sutherland community to know that domestic abuse does happen here.
"We hope our video brings home the reality of domestic abuse and knowledge that there is a local team of dedicated, passionate, trained and specialised women still working and still here.”
Tel: 0345 408 0151 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, 24-hour answerphone service)
Social media (Facebook and Instagram)
Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (open 24/7): 0800 027 1234
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