Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, which works in Thanet and Dover, has been awarded a grant for £32,427 allocated by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott and the Ministry of Justice.
The funding will be used for the charity to adapt its Phoenix Groupwork Programme for online delivery so that it remains accessible to those affected by domestic abuse while social distancing measures are in place.
Phoenix is a 10-week educational programme for people who have experienced abuse. The programme launched in the summer of 2019 and runs across Kent. It is the result of a collaboration between organisations working across Kent as the Phoenix Collaborators Group, all with extensive experience of working with families, and those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Oasis CEO Deborah Cartwright said:“’Matthew Scott’s office funded this programme’s development and is now ensuring that we can continue to deliver it no matter the circumstances. Groupwork programmes help women to make sense of their trauma and also to form communities of mutual support that long outlast the programme. I am delighted that we can deliver this project remotely.”
PCC Mr Scott added: ‘As lockdown began to ease in Kent we quickly saw more victims of domestic abuse coming forward to seek help from the police.
“This grant money ensures the vital support which local charities like Oasis provide to victims remains available and accessible too.”
During the lockdown Oasis reported a 120% surge in referrals.
Last year some 592 adults experiencing abuse were helped by the Oasis service.
The average length of abuse suffered before accessing services is over four years. Of those helped by Oasis last year 213 had experienced their abuser trying to strangle or suffocate them, 253 had had threats to their life and 95 needed hospital treatment.
The impact resulted in 323 attempting or having thoughts of suicide and 52 coping through self harming. As a result of this Oasis will be developing specific mental health groups for victims of abuse this year.
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Great news – an important project being run by an excellent service.