Professionals

Professionals and colleagues,

Our Helpline is for you too.

If you need advice or information around domestic abuse, particularly in the districts we serve , please call our Helpline.

We can offer advice around:

  • Identifying a victim of domestic abuse
  • The impact of domestic abuse on the individual and families
  • Assessing risk and using the DASH risk indicator checklist
  • Safety-planning
  • Civil and criminal legal instruments designed to keep victims and their children safe – although we cannot offer legal advice
  • How and where victims can seek free legal advice
  • Overcoming statutory obstacles – e.g. no recourse to public funds
  • Other services that may be beneficial
  • How a victim can leave safely

Call our Helpline now on 08009179948

Alternatively you can email us here.

Prior to referral please complete the DASH RIC if you have not already done so.

Project Description Areas Covered Referral form
Accommodation Supported accommodation for young women (aged 18-25) with low support needs, at risk of becoming or currently homeless due to domestic abuse or familial breakdown. Our accomodation is located in the Gravesham district. Accomodation referral form
IDVA Service One-to-one advocacy and support service for high risk victims of domestic abuse. Where scoring 14+ on DASH RIC you MUST refer. Where lower you may still refer on professional judgement. Choices cover Medway, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells. Referral form details providers for other Kent districts. MARAC referral form
Helpline Advice and emotional support, safety-planning, refuge-search and signposting service for all victims of domestic abuse and third parties All of Kent. Advice and signposting available where out of county. Call on 08009179948
Freedom Programme 12-week group support programme for women in or out of an abusive relationship looking at the tactics and behaviours of the abuser. The group has had 100% positive overall feedback for the past two years. Medway (from April 2019), Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone Referral Form
Recovery Toolkit 12-week group support programme for victims who have left their abusive relationship. Focuses on confidence-building, challenging negative automatic thinking and self-empowerment. Medway (from April 2019), Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone Referral Form
Hospital IDVA (HIDVA) Providing crisis interventions, advice, information, support and onward referrals, working alongside NHS staff at Darent Valley Hospital. Delivered in partnership with Centra. Dartford Need identified at Hospital. Service does not accept other referrals.
Project Description Areas Covered Referral form
Choose Respect For boys and young men, aged 11-18, that have witnessed domestic abuse and are showing signs of control. Who have behaviour difficulties within school or at home and are finding it hard to build relationships. This programme can be completed 1-to-1 or in small groups. Gravesham Choose Respect Referral
Loves Me Loves Me Not Whole-class preventative programme for young people aged 11-16 in which learners explore healthy relationships, positive and negative communications styles, and build self-confidence and assertiveness. Gravesham This is class-based. No referral needed. Schools are targetted rather than individuals.
iCan One-to-One work with adolescent boys aged 14-16 years, affected by domestic abuse through their family or intimate relationships, are isolated with a limited support network and are presenting with behaviours linked to trauma such as anxiety, low mood, disengagement, risk taking behaviour or difficulty building relationships. Gravesham (delivered in other districts by fellow members of the Kent Domestic Abuse Consortium) iCan Referral Form
Guiding Lights Targetted programme for young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Looks at grooming processes, warning signs and impact. Raises awareness of risks around sexual health and drugs and alcohol misuse. Maidstone Guiding Lights Referral Form
Stand Tall (Coming April 2019) Targetted programme for young people at risk of Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE). Explores gang recruitment, push and pull factors, county lines and power dynamics. Builds self-esteem and provides advice and guidance around safe-exit. Gravesham We are currently completing the toolkit and the referral form is coming soon.
Like You (Coming April 2019) Like You is a psychoeducational programme for mixed gendered groups aged 11-18, identified as being vulnerable to engaging in unhealthy relationships, or as being at risk of CSE and/or teen parenthood. It aims to raise self-esteem, increase confidence and improve emotional wellbeing and resilience. Tonbridge & Malling We are currently completing the toolkit and the referral form is coming soon.

Why Train?

Whether your work places you in regular and direct contact with victims of domestic abuse – as a police officer, social worker, or substance misuse professional, for instance – or whether you are responsible for staff at any level of any business, your work is impacted by domestic abuse.

“The lowest estimate places the cost of domestic abuse to local services in Kent and Medway as £110.4 million per year.”

Of course the individual cost to victims and their children – of trauma, of being made to feel worthless, of being taught to doubt their own judgement, of eventually fleeing not just their perpetrator, but their home, their friends, and their family – cannot be reduced to numbers.

That is why we all have a shared responsibility to improve our knowledge and skills around domestic abuse – to know what to do when you suspect someone is being abused, or when they confide in you – and Choices can help.

What does our training cover?

Here are some examples of what we can cover:

  • Defining Domestic Abuse
  • Domestic Abuse in law including coercive control
  • Strategies, behaviours, and how to identify when abuse is occurring
  • Power & Control and its effects on a victim
  • Impact on children
  • Barriers to victim engagement
  • Domestic Abuse in older people
  • So-called “Honour-based” Violence
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Safe Enquiry
    • Warning or identifying signs
    • Ways to engage victims
    • How to ask about abuse
    • Validating the message
    • How to respond
  • What victims tell us they want
  • Documenting abuse
  • Safety Planning
  • Local specialist services that can help

Who is it for?

We offer training from basic domestic abuse awareness to in-depth, full day sessions or bespoke training packages, delivered by our qualified and accredited trainers.

As such we have delivered courses to the Early Help practitioners, solicitors, hairdressers, HR departments, and a raft of other professionals. They may work in a public-facing role where people are likely to disclose abuse and want to know how to help when this happens. Perhaps they value their staff and want to know how to help them in the event they are victims of abuse – coupled with this an appreciation for cost to their business through under-productivity or loss of skills.

Ultimately our training is for anyone who can see the bigger picture: that domestic abuse is an issue that concerns us all, and we should all empower ourselves to be in a position to assist whenever we are able.

What’s the cost?

Our prices scale for businesses, the statutory and voluntary sector and we are always interested in reciprocal training opportunities.

Contact us to discuss your training needs or to get a quote at training@choicesdaservice.org.uk

Partnering with Choices

Better Together

No one service can be all things to all be people. Choices are a specialist domestic abuse service covering North and West Kent, but when victims of abuse come to us for help they often have many other concerns for which we can offer advice but are not the experts. From home security to mental health support and counselling, from legal advice to culturally relevant BAME services, we value our partnerships hugely and are always looking for ways to strengthen those we have and to seek new opportunities to provide truly joined-up, holistic support for our service users.

Introduce your service or strengthen relationships

If you have recently won a contract or grant to provide a service in the districts we serve , or if you’re an existing service seeking a closer working relationship to better benefit our communities, please [get in touch].

  • Establish or contribute to referral pathways
  • Welcome you to team meetings
  • Have you present to our quarterly organisation-wide events
  • Discuss at reciprocal training opportunities

Collaborate on New projects

Choices are always seeking to work together with other agencies to provide innovative approaches to tackling domestic abuse. We have a proven track record of joint-bidding and partnership working, having co-designed, piloted and launched many collaborative projects across Kent for over 20 years.

Contact our Business Improvement Manager to discuss your ideas and set up a meeting

Our Existing Partnerships

Altogether Safer

Altogether Safer – Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls is a project funded by the government’s VAWG Transformation Fund and is delivered in partnership with Gravesham and Dartford Borough Councils, Kent Police, Choices, Kent Equality Cohesion Council (KECC), and Rethink Mental Illness (known locally as Rethink Sahayak). You can find out more information about this project here.

Choices’ role in this partnership is two-fold - we deliver and out-of-hours service alongside North Kent Police (more on this below); and we deliver our preventative and responsive programme to boys and young men, Choose Respect. Aimed at boys and young men, aged 11-18, that have witnessed domestic abuse and are showing signs of control, the programme explores healthy versus unhealthy attitudes to gender, communication, and as works to turn these around.

Centra

We have partnered with Centra since 2018 for delivery of the North Kent Hospital IDVA service at Darent Valley Hospital. This early intervention project reaches clients at the point of crisis, providing on-the-spot advice and information, emotional support and safety planning, and acts as a referral point for community domestic abuse services, refuge, and other services tailored to the victims’ needs.

As of April 2019 we will together be providing the Medway Domestic Abuse Service (MDAS).

Lookahead

We have been a proud partner of Lookahead since 2017, providing the community IDVA service to high-risk victims of domestic abuse in West Kent, comprising Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling, and Tunbridge Wells.

Kent Police

As part of the Altogether Safer project (above) our out of hours service bases us at Gravesham Police Station evenings and weekends. Working closely alongside the police we provide early crisis intervention support, advice and information, safety-planning and referrals into structured North Kent domestic abuse services.

PATH

PATH or Prevention of Actual or Threatened Homelessness is a group of providers led by CANWK and includes Choices, includes West Kent Mediation, West Kent Mind, Porchlight and Samaritans.

Through PATH we offer -

  • Domestic abuse advice and support
  • Mediation (tenant/landlord or family)
  • Debt advice
  • Housing legal advice
  • Mental health support