Domestic abuse campaign: Peterborough residents join scheme to support survivors

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Peterborough residents have taken part in a campaign which has been raising awareness of domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic and supported survivors to reach out for help.

The ‘Ask Me’ project, run by Cambridge Women’s Aid in partnership with Peterborough City Council, has trained 50 local people to be community ambassadors.

Since March, community ambassadors in Peterborough have raised awareness through social media, shared posters and information in the community and lent their support to national campaigns around the family court system and the Domestic Abuse Bill.

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They have initiated fundraising challenges, raising money to support women and children in refuge, and have met with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, to share their feedback on government support for survivors of abuse.

Peterborough residents have joined the Ask Me schemePeterborough residents have joined the Ask Me scheme
Peterborough residents have joined the Ask Me scheme

Linda, an Ask Me ambassador in Peterborough, said: “Being an Ask Me ambassador, it’s encouraging to be able to go out and bring awareness to the general public. People shouldn’t be afraid to contact domestic abuse support services if there’s something going on. Using social media we’ve been able to share information widely during the lockdown so people know where to go for help.

“During lockdown I came across a lady who had to escape from domestic abuse and go to refuge, but she had no money at all. I was able to give her enough to get to a refuge. It made me think about how many women have to flee with absolutely nothing, especially if their partner has control over all the finances.

“That bothered me, and I went on to do a fundraiser to raise some money for Refuge and Women’s Aid.”

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Community Ambassadors have been uniquely placed to make observations about how communities and survivors are experiencing Covid-19 restrictions. A national survey carried out by Women’s Aid showed that across the UK, Ask Me community ambassadors continued to raise awareness and have vital conversations about domestic abuse during lockdown at a time when many survivors were struggling to access formal support.

Sophie, the co-ordinator of the Ask Me project at Cambridge Women’s Aid, said: “We know that if someone is experiencing domestic abuse the person they are most likely to tell is someone in their community – maybe a friend, colleague, neighbour or family member.

“Ask Me ambassadors are perfectly placed in their communities to break the silence, raise awareness and signpost survivors to organisations that can help, like Women’s Aid and Refuge. Together, we want to make sure that when survivors find the courage to speak out they get a supportive response straight away.”

Cambridge Women’s Aid will be launching a new online version of the Ask Me course in early 2021 so that more people can be trained as community ambassadors. For more information, go to:


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