Since its inauguration, SI Solihull has been interested and concerned about the issue of safety for women on a global scale and one key aspect of this is safety in the home and in particular Domestic Abuse, which is an issue as much for our local community as it is on a worldwide scale.
Domestic Abuse affects both women and men although women account for approximately 85% of victims locally. It can affect people of all ages and is prevalent in affluent areas and homes as well as those in more deprived settings. Domestic Abuse can take the form of physical, sexual, psychological, financial and emotional abuse and the perpetrators are not only partners but can be offspring or other family members. The exact scale of domestic abuse is not fully understood as often the abuse is goes unreported to agencies due to the complex nature of the relationships involved and also the stigma which is seen to be attached to this.
Domestic Abuse is a serious issue and at its extreme can lead to severe injuries or death. As importantly the mental scars can be very disabling and many people require help and support to regain confidence and to rebuild their lives.
Forced marriage and ‘honour’ killings are specific elements of the issue ,which occur on a limited scale within particular cultural groups but has significant and often drastic impact for individuals.
However nationally and locally the agencies and all concerned are making efforts to more fully understand the nature of the issue within the Borough and how it affects all members of society. Most agencies are also seeking to adapt their services to be more sensitive to the issue and the needs of those involved. Children of families are often affected by the impact of domestic abuse within the home and they require particular support.
Progress is slow and often it requires campaigns by local organisations such as SI Solihull to quicken the pace of change and to raise awareness of the ongoing issues.
SI Solihull was involved in the setting up of a local Solihull based refuge for women and their children in 2003/4, now run by Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid and more recently in the funding of a local telephone helpline as well as other support services to families.
Make a Better Life Trust (MABL)is a local charity, which has provided many of the services which support the Refuge and statutory agencies.
It currently is undergoing significant change to realign itself due to the withdrawal of funding by the Local Strategic partnership. It is currently in urgent need of help and support to ensure its continued ability to provide services and support to families and this has been agreed as a priority by the Health and Lobbying Groups within the Club. President Angela has also included MABL as a beneficiary from funds raised by the Club this year.
Programme Action Officer
2nd May 2011