A Voice for Women Affected by Domestic Abuse

Published on
May 14, 2024
May 14, 2024
Written by
Alan Mairs
Written by
Blog Archive

Aura is a domestic abuse support service, providing practical, emotional, non-judgmental support, advice, and safety planning for all victims of domestic abuse in North Lanarkshire.

Key to the effectiveness of Aura is its policy of involving the people who use the service in its design and function. The Aura Voice group provides the women using the service with a platform to share, discuss and explore their own experiences in person. Importantly, the output from these sessions will help us create more effective, trauma-informed processes that will help improve the response to domestic abuse both locally and nationally.

Since establishing the group, it has contributed to a number of consultations from both local bodies and national agencies, including a recent inspection of summary cases involving domestic abuse, undertaken by HM Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland (IPS). The Chief Inspector of IPS, Laura Paton, met with women supported by Aura, both on a one-to-one basis and with the Voice group over several months last year. Twenty-three women in total were interviewed and 13 women participated in the Voice Group session. We are immensely proud of the women who took part in the inspection. They bravely shared details of their traumatic experiences, and spoke of the support they needed, and importantly, what they received from the court process.

Chief Inspector Laura Paton said of the work:

"I … wanted to thank you for putting us in touch with some of the women you work with. They gave so generously of their time, and we appreciate their willingness to share their experiences with us. We hope they’ll see the issues they raised reflected in the report. … The issues they raised haven’t just influenced this particular report – what we heard from them and from you and your colleagues has also helped us choose what we’re going to inspect next."

The women involved in the group continue to go from strength to strength and have a full calendar of activities with a local creative arts project including six weeks of podcasts and a film to capture the reality of domestic abuse in the North Lanarkshire area. The women report feeling empowered since attending the Voice group. They are encouraged and supported through their recovery in a way that allows them to express their thoughts in a safe and educational way.

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