Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit

In January 2022, the Violence Reduction Unit commissioned Dignifi to design a bespoke training course that specifically explored the impacts of growing up around domestic violence. Dignifi worked with Lived Experience Consultants and Research Associates to design a bespoke course that covered the following modules;

  1. Developmental trauma
  2. Experiencing domestic abuse in childhood
  3. Long-term impact of domestic abuse upon children and young people
  4. Women and gendered dimensions to relationships
  5. Culture and cultural violence
  6. Supporting young people to disclose and understand their experiences of family violence
  7. Recovery from growing up in families experiencing abuse
  8. Resilience in the workplace

The course has been delivered to almost 200 staff over the last financial year, including staff in the Youth Offending Service, Complex Safeguarding, Probation, and Integrated Resettlement partners. There was a mixed model of delivery with some staff attending online, and others attending face to face.

The response to the training was overwhelmingly positive.

The full evaluation can be found here:

Feedback from staff included:

“The session where we looked at the impact of domestic violence and the impact it has on children was really useful because it was about how we see the impact in the behaviour of adolescents which are so often described as being aggressive, abusive, disruptive and it was really good to learn about how we can re-frame the narrative to understand that they are children who have witnessed and/or been the victim of domestic abuse and this impact on a child’s world view and their behaviour. I will take this forward when I write assessments and PSRs and I will challenge professionals on how they are talking about children’s behaviour when there is a history of domestic violence or are living with domestic violence in their home.”

“The training was one of the most interesting and useful pieces of kit for my toolkit. Not only is it useful in my work life it is also useful and made me reflect on things within my personal life (past) and indeed I am more trauma aware than ever, and I have started to use the word and meaning of trauma more.”

“I recognise that I may need to change the approach when working with people who present with ‘anger’ issues.  Sometimes when people consistently present as angry/frustrated and raise their voice, there is a temptation to use enforcement when it is affecting compliance. I would like to put some of the training into use before resorting to enforcement in the future.”

“The facilitators were extremely knowledgeable, personable, highly interesting. Extremely good at delivering the material and totally engaging from day one to the end of day two.  The presence of a person who has and continues to work with the trauma this person suffered and how this has shaped the person’s life as a live example was equally powerful important and worthwhile.”

The success of this training means that it will be rolled across the following custodial establishments before the end of the financial year: HMP Manchester, HMP Hindley, HMP Buckley Hall, HMP Forest Bank, HMPYOI Werrington, and HMPYOI Weatherby.

Article posted on: 26/09/2023 03:09pm

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