In September the full office team participated in The Children’s Society ‘Seen & Heard’ Training spearheaded by our Children’s Services Manager, Tara, who has trained as a Seen & Heard Champion. . This national campaign captures the views of young people about what it’s like when you’ve ‘got something to tell’. The program is designed to build awareness about what young people need and want from professional services, which will help us to ensure that opportunities to end abuse aren’t missed.
Two more groups from NCS Slough’s ‘The Challenge’ camp supported The Dash Charity this summer. The young participants hosted a range of activities including sports days, awareness appeals and outreach hackathons to raise money for our core services.
We would like to share with you a thank you card received by our Children’s IDVA, Zaira, from two of her young clients. Their words show how far they have come throughout the course of their sessions with The Dash Charity in being able to recognise what they have been through and to move forward with a healthy mind-set.
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.
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!
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!
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 conjunction with White Ribbon Day on Friday November 25th, The Dash Charity are hosting a Diversity Conference for industry professionals to meet and look at the ways we as a community can better cater to diverse and complex needs. For more information contact Claire@thedashcharity.org.uk
In conjunction with our Friends at Kidd Rapinet,The Dash Charity are participating in a live crowdfunding and networking evening on Thursday January 26th. Further details to follow.
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.
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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”.
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.
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.
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.