The COVID-19 lockdown had an impact on us all. For those who were victims of domestic violence, however, the lockdown exacerbated their circumstances.
Within the first 3-weeks of the first lockdown, 16 people were killed as a result of domestic violence. There was a 49% increase in calls to abuse helplines compared to the average.
The lockdowns have really shone a light on the suffering of men, women, and children who find themselves in a violent home environment. That is why I, and many partners across Rushcliffe, have decided to raise awareness of the J9 Domestic Abuse mission.
The J9 initiative was set up in memory of Janine Mundy (AKA J9), a mother of 2, who was killed by her estranged husband. The J9 initiative aims to provide training to staff in the public and voluntary sectors to increase understanding and awareness surrounding the complex issue of domestic abuse.
The training aims to ensure that learners are equipped to respond appropriately and effectively to survivors of abuse and more survivors are able to access support.
This training is open to anyone, whether you volunteer at a charity shop, work in a pub, or regularly interact with the public.
Once staff have been J9 trained, the J9 logo is displayed on the organisation's premises, letting survivors know that they have a safe place to access information and use a telephone to contact support services.
We recently completed our first two in-person sessions in Ruddington and East Leake after a year of virtual sessions. We will be holding our next session in West Bridgford - you can sign up for free here: https://tinyurl.com/yr7n7pwe