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Ask Me Community Ambassadors

A Change that lasts - The right response to domestic abuse

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CASWA- ASK ME, COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS INCLUDING FREE TRAINING

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“We know that communities are often the first to know about abuse, and that they can act as gate openers or gate closers in terms of help seeking”

(Finding the Costs of Freedom report, 2014)

Caithness & Sutherland Ask Me Community Ambassadors

Anyone with a connection to the area where the Ask Me Scheme is running can become an Ambassador, whether you have been personally affected by domestic abuse or whether you would like to learn more.

After training the Community Ambassador will be able to:

  • Understand the nature and impact of domestic abuse.
  • Be confident in how to challenge myths and victim blaming to help prevent unhelpful responses to survivors.
  • Be equipped with new skills and be able to share information on where specialist help can be accessed.
  • Have skills and confidence to respond to someone sharing their personal experiences of abuse.
  • Understand the role of the Ambassador within your community and plan how to stay in touch with other Ambassadors
  • Have a voice to help shape national and local services to support survivors across Highland.

Those Ambassadors who want to become more involved locally are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. An Ambassador can commit as much or as little time as they can give.

We keep in touch with Community Ambassadors with new opportunities and events such as ambassador meet-ups, campaign involvement and volunteering. We also send short surveys to find out how they are getting on and how we can support them further.

The Training

We offer a free 12-hour training course to members of the local community. We will be able to come to your local area to deliver the training to ensure that everyone who wants to take part can take part. It is open to anyone over the age of 18 from all backgrounds and identities.

The training sessions are welcoming and safe spaces to gain an introduction to domestic abuse and to have time to find answers to the questions you may have always wanted to ask. You will learn what domestic abuse is, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support. There is no ongoing commitment for Ambassadors, how much more you want to be involved after the training will be up to you.

OUR VISION

A Change that lasts - Ask Me Scheme is a plan for the future where all survivors of domestic abuse get the right response and access to help. It aims to bring communities together, provide local knowledge and skills and create a forum to challenge unhelpful behaviours and attitudes. Through training and with a network on ongoing support, we will equip members of the community with the expertise to respond to requests for help from survivors and to feel confident in challenging unhelpful prejudices, helping to create a community where everyone feels safe to live.

Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid and Lochaber Women’s Aid have been chosen to pilot this new National scheme in Scotland. Based in local communities we plan to put in place a network of expertise by creating Community Ambassadors across the area.

People within a survivor’s community are often the first to know that domestic abuse is happening. But a lack of understanding and confidence can make people afraid to talk about it and unsure of how to respond when someone speaks out. Survivors have told us they can feel judged, isolated or silenced by the people around them. Ask Me Community Ambassadors will be able to respond effectively and signpost those that need support to specialist services.

The project is a simple initiative delivered in partnership with communities that equips everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors. This knowledge will enable the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse and in making a change that last.