For extra support in this critical time, the Dewis Choice team is able to offer free online training to professionals. Contact Elize Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session
Coronavirus presents significant challenges to the health and wellbeing of the nation. For older people experiencing abuse by intimate partners or adult family members the current lockdown can increase the risk of harm and abuse.
In light of the current emergency, Dewis Choice is offering FREE online training to all practitioners receiving calls from older people.
We are delighted our on-line training has been endorsed by the Older People’s Commissioner encouraging key workers and volunteers who may come into contact with older people to take part to help spot the signs of domestic abuse: https://www.olderpeoplewales.com/en/news/news/20-05-12/We_all_have_a_role_to_play_in_protecting_older_people_from_abuse.aspx
We are proud to share that our online training exploring domestic abuse in later life has been submitted to the World Health Organisation by Public Health Wales as best practice for Wales and is endorsed by the Older People’s Commissioner. Our training was also shared in the Violence Prevention Unit for Wales’ e-Bulletin and included in their Covid-19 resource’s and guidance:
The training provided by the Dewis Choice team will cover:
Safety planning advice and guidance for professionals using helplines;
The appropriate use of language given abusers will be in close proximity
Emergency measures for older people experiencing domestic abuse during this period;
How to support older victim-survivors facing additional anxiety during lockdown;
How to support an older person’s mental health;
What well-being measures can be put in place to support the older adult;
Access to information from our practitioner guidance
Help to professionals when responding to all older people experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence (where dementia and domestic abuse co-exist, guidance on supporting male victim-survivors and LGBTQ groups).
Dewis Choice has delivered training to 5,981 practitioners on domestic abuse in later life across the United Kingdom over the last five years. The training is drawn directly from the longitudinal study capturing older people’s lived experiences of domestic abuse.
The Dewis Choice training package is delivered to domestic abuse specialists (e.g. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors), to all services supporting older people and to safeguarding teams and criminal justice agents across Scotland, England and Wales.
What people say
Learning points highlighted by practitioners on our training
“i. Understanding better the impact of age and how this aspect of identity may compound experiences of abuse 2. Brought into focus the need to raise awareness of LGBT and dementia and the gap in support provided 3. Asking questions-not assuming domestic abuse doesn’t exist.”
“ii. Domestic abuse in older adults is complex and does occur 2. It is not about welfare/ageism it’s about the right support at the right time 3. We definitely could be doing more for older adults of domestic abuse.”
“iii. Look for signs don’t dictate responses or assume medical solutions 2. Put what the person wants at centre 3. Allow time to build a picture.”
Looking to book a session?
If you and/or your service would benefit from support during this time, please contact our service development and training lead Elize Freeman email@example.com to book a training session for your staff.
Elize Freeman Service & Training Development Lead Dewis Choice
Email : Elf21@aber.ac.uk
Elize Freeman is an accredited gender based service manager (group 5 of the National Training Framework) and qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advisor and Sexual Violence Advisor ID(S)VA. She has completed Level 1 Counselling skills, Mental Health First Aid and Safeguarding Adults training and is a Dementia Champion delivering ‘dementia friends’ sessions to practitioners and community members. For five years, Elize has provided long-term and intensive specialist support for older female and male victim-survivors and their family members, helping to explore older people’s rights and entitlements from a justice perspective. Elize not only has experience in safety planning and prevention work, Elize also provides long term support as a wellbeing practitioner. This experience has helped her to develop bespoke tools to aid recovery and promote wellbeing with older victim survivors.
“You made me feel important, not alone, and gave me purpose to carry on. I could always rely on you to be there for me. You always came when I needed you and you never let me down. Your honesty and helpfulness kept me going.”
Elize designed and delivered training for SafeLives for their 2018/19 pilot for IDVA’s responding to older people who are victim-survivors of domestic abuse. Elize has developed and delivered Wales-wide training for Health and Social Care Wales. Alongisde other team members Dewis Choice has delivered training to over 300 practitioners across Scotland, including Adult Support and Protection, Police, Health and Domestic Abuse practitioners, on older people and domestic abuse. The training includes older LGBTQ+ victims, the co-existence with dementia, disability and male victims.
Wydall, S., Freeman, E., & Zerk, R. (2020) Transforming the response to domestic abuse in later life: Dewis Choice Practitioner Guidance. Gomer Press.
Wydall, S. & Freeman, E. (2019), ‘Older People and Domestic Violence and Abuse’ in Domestic Violence in Health Contexts: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. McGarry, J. & Ali, P. (eds.).