news & blog

Stay in touch with our latest news, events, reports and achievements, including how we’re helping victims of domestic abuse.

There’s always plenty going on in the world of The Dash Charity, so grab a cup of tea and have a good read.

Update: Freedom Plus Programme

The Autumn term of Freedom is now underway with two new groups running. Our groups in Langley and Burnham have ten new members each, and we are looking to start a third group in the coming weeks. We have seen some fantastic breakthroughs in the early sessions, and we look forward to supporting these women in their journey to recovery over the next two months.

Update: Sustainability & Development

The Dash Charity have recently signed up to a number of exciting new platforms which allow supporters to get creative with their fundraising methods. We’ll be launching on Give a Dinner Party and We Give It very soon, so keep an eye out for more information on how you can get involved.

In September our friends at O2 held a friendly cricket match to raise funds for The Dash Charity. The Network Support team went up against Network Design, with the result ending up nail-bitingly close!

o2-cricket

Our Chuffed Helpline Crowdfunding campaign closed last month, having raised a total of GBP600 which will contribute towards funding our crisis call phone line which is vital for self-referrals and individuals seeking confidential advice or support. Although we did not hit our target, we were very pleased with the level of support, and would like to thank everybody who contributed for their generous donations. A special mention must go to Dr Sue Brook, a long-time supporter of The Dash Charity, who set up and managed the campaign on our behalf! We could not do the work we do without the support of volunteers like Sue, and we are so grateful for her time and compassion.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to our long-term supporters, Datchet Golf Club, who recently supported The Dash Charity through their Captain’s Day Charity Tournament!

Event: The Dash Charity’s 40th Birthday

40th invite

The Dash Charity will be celebrating our 40th birthday in Windsor from 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Thursday November 17th. Join us for a glass of bubbles as we take you on a pictorial journey through our history and developments in women’s refuges over the last four decades. Please note that this is a registration only event. For more information or to RSVP email Olivia@thedashcharity.org.uk by Monday 14th November.

In the News

The Dash Charity were recently featured on BBC South East, with our Specialist Health IDVA, Caron, providing valuable insights to a recent domestic abuse homicide case. Our Services Manager, Becky, was also featured on the Anne Diamond Show discussing the recent domestic abuse storyline playing out on BBC’s The Archers.

Charity Welcomes Move to Allow Domestic Abuse Victims to Vote Anonymously

Voluntary Sector Award Winners Revealed

Domestic Abuse Charity Says Radio Drama Highlights Misconceptions on Issue

Feature: Metropolitan police Officer Jailed After Being Found Guilty of Seven Counts of Rape

Advocacy & Outreach

PC Michael Graham, 49, was last week found guilty of seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault involving the strangulation of a client of a local resident. He has been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for the offences which took place over a nine month period between December 2013 and September 2014.

Initially, the victim, in her 30’s, was reluctant to contact police having been told by Graham “I am a police officer; I can do what I want. I’ll tell people you’re mad”. She has been supported by two Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) at The Dash Charity since August 2015, who assisted with preparing her in the lead up to court proceedings. Her bravery and strength of character and were instrumental in securing this merited result. The Dash Charity also worked in conjunction with Thames Valley Police to ensure stringent safety measures were put into place.

The victim recorded two separate sex attacks, which occurred in Uxbridge, using a sleep monitoring application on her iPhone. The Jury found the recording, which contained threats to kill, so distressing that it prompted a time-out in proceedings. Delivering evidence from behind a screen, the victim said she has been left to feel “Absolutely humiliated and disgusted”. She is now working in conjunction with The Dash Charity IDVAs to come to terms with the sentencing and look forward to the future.

Graham, who was suspended from the Metropolitan Police Service upon his arrest last October, will now be fired and recorded on the Sexual Offenders’ Register for life.

Speaking about her journey, the victim said “I am very grateful for the incredible support I received from The Dash Charity and my IDVAs. I was able to call them any time when I felt low, to ask for advice or just to speak to someone for reassurance even after the court case had closed. There are no words to describe how valuable this service was to me, without it I don’t think I would have continued with the court proceedings. I never felt rushed or judged and I always felt completely believed. They empowered me to carry on”.

“We are so pleased with the sentence and feel that justice has truly been served.” said The Dash Charity IDVA who supported Graham’s victim, “While 16 years will never take away from what he did to her, it is a fantastic result that will allow our client to start rebuilding without having to live in fear”.

Feature: Support Our Helpline Crowdfunding Campaign

Sustainability & Development | Advocacy & Outreach

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Chuffed.org to set up a Crowdfunding campaign to support our helpline.

Did you know that a victim is likely to experience 35 incidents of domestic abuse before they reach out for support? If they are unsuccessful in speaking with somebody or have a negative first experience when reaching out for support, they will be unlikely to try again; instead remaining trapped in the vicious cycle of abuse.

We provide confidential advice and support services to women, men and children whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse, and it all begins with our helpline.

Due to the closure of local agencies, a recent capacity crisis has seen our caseload skyrocket and our helpline hours drastically reduced, which means that victims of abuse may not be getting through to somebody when they pick up the phone for help.

With your support, The Dash Charity will be able to sustain the helpline’s full operational hours, and ensure that we are making contact with each and every victim who reaches out to us for support.

Please make a donation today and help us meet the needs of the victims who have very bravely taken the first step in ending the cycle of abuse by calling The Dash Charity. The campaign will be running until the end of August an donations can be made via Chuffed.

Feature: #EndDV126 Bike Ride

 Fundraising & Events

Our Board Member, Anthony Wills has signed himself up to complete a gruelling 126 mile bike ride to honour the 126 women who were murdered by men in the UK throughout 2016. Beginning in Iver, Anthony will ride through Amersham, Thame, Bicester, Wheatley and Caversham before arriving in Peascod Street around 6pm. Please join us in welcoming Anthony over the finishing line (details to be confirmed). You can sponsor Anthony on his journey via Virgin Money Giving.

Training Update

Anthony was always worried about completing this distance but had put some good mileage in and his confidence was growing. That is, until his granddaughter started at nursery. You know how it is – these small beings get on very well with their new chums and decide to share everything – including their germs. Anthony succumbed to a virus which kept him off the bike for a scary 4 weeks. He had his first ride (of only a paltry 10 miles) last Monday and had to lie down in a dark room for a while to recover.

So how do you get to 126 miles starting from nowhere? Well, his plan is to ride 10 miles, then 20, then 30, then 40 etc. There is only one way to get ready and that is to forget the past and relish the future. Of course it would make him feel it is all worth doing, and the pain worth suffering with a few donations but whatever happens he has promised to complete the ride to #EndDV126.

Board member, Anthony Wills, to ride 126 miles in honour of the 126 women murdered by men in 2015.

Board member, Anthony Wills, to ride 126 miles in honour of the 126 women murdered by men in 2015.

Feature: Progress in Pictures

Children’s Services
We’d like to share with you some incredible progress made by one of the young participants in our PICADA Program.

PICADA SocMed graphic

The image on the left was drawn in the first one-on-one session and reads “I don’t want to see atta never”. The child was incredibly traumatized and drew a house to show where the hurting happened. The lines he drew across the house were nails – “to protect me and my mum so Atta can’t come hurt us”.

The second image, drawn four months later, reads “good memories” and shows the difference the program has made to his life.

This is a letter from a young girl to her father which demonstrates the impact of early intervention. The child is 10 years old, and penned this during her 6th session with our Child Services team. She is now able to name her father’s harmful behavior by using the words abuse and abusive – this will allow her to recognize it if it appears in her future relationships and reduces her chances of becoming a victim when she’s older, breaking the cycle of violence.

MM Letter

To: Dad
I am saying goodbye because: you let me down by not being there to support me when I needed you, especially when I had my heart checked you fell asleep which really upset me.
Saying goodbye makes me feel: which is upset, happy because there is peace, confused crying, a mixture of both.
I remember when we: went holiday to Dubai and Hong Kong you took us to the water park you played with us.
You taught me: shoe laces and fear but you also taught me sorrow in family. Abuse is right emotional blackmail.
Something I want you to know is: Why did you drink? Why didn’t you care for me? Why were you abusive? Are you going to change?
I will always remember: How abusive you were. Your drinking and hitting. You have affected my childhood.
PS I never felt loved or respected. I don’t love or respect you.