New funding to support deaf victims of domestic violence in Peterborough

“There is currently a significant barrier for deaf women to be able to access support, information and advice, in order to remain safe.”

By Stephen Briggs
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 5:00 am

New funding has been made available to help support deaf victims of domestic violence in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

Deaf women are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse in their lifetime with around 22 deaf women experiencing abuse every day in the UK. Deaf women suffering abuse also have far fewer ways to report it and often rely on using family members to communicate with professionals, so this leaves them even more excluded from accessing support.

Cambridgeshire Deaf Association (CDA) run the Freedom Programme, delivered in British Sign Language, which is a specific course that supports deaf victims who are experiencing domestic abuse. It allows them to learn about their experiences, empowers them to take control and supports them to leave relationships if they choose to. The programme has now been given £11,000 of funding.

Funding will support victims of domestic abuse

Rachael Dance, service manager for the advocacy and case work team at Cambridgeshire Deaf Association said: “I feel very priviliged to be able to deliver the course in British Sign Language as there is currently a significant barrier for deaf women to be able to access support, information and advice, in order to remain safe.

“To witness first-hand how the women we support move on with their lives with a much more thorough support system in place and a better understanding of their rights, is an honour.

“To be able to safety plan in confidence with these women, in their first language, has empowered many women and improved the quality of theirs and their children’s lives.”

So far, CDA have supported 18 women through the freedom programme and have another 6 enrolled on an upcoming course. The £11,000 of new funding guarantees the service for the next three years and will allow the charity to help many more victims of abuse.

Cambridgeshire Deaf Association would like to hear from anyone that wants to be involved in the Freedom programme. If you have a hearing loss or are Deaf and are currently, or have previously experienced abuse, please feel free to get in touch for a space on the course by emailing [email protected] or visit https://cambsdeaf.org/get-support/support-courses/freedom-programme/