Making a difference: a community engagement project in Newquay seeks people over 60 to share their experiences of domestic violence, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse

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Safer Cornwall is working with Age UK and The Women’s Center Cornwall on a pilot project in Newquay to understand the experiences of over 60s who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. It is ultimately about improving our response and developing more accessible services for older people in Cornwall.

We have recruited a team of facilitators, who work in the Newquay community and meet a wide range of residents aged 60+. We want to understand the experiences of people over 60 who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse and to know what was helpful or could have been helpful in any response they received or not, as well as what needs to be improved.

“People over 60 and their situation are often overlooked: it is vital for the health and safety of our entire community that we now address this issue and respond to recommendations for improved support.

“The opinions of our residents are what matter most – we want to hear from people over 60 who have lived or are still living with the harm caused by domestic violence, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse and work together to make a difference to the services offered in the future.

Carol Mould, Cabinet Member of Cornwall Council for Neighborhoods

What we hear will directly help us work together to better identify, respond to, and provide the support people want and need. This will help bring the realities of domestic violence and sexual violence out of the shadows, thereby reducing the stigma, stereotypes and blame currently attached to it. Our goal is for everyone to be better able to recognize abuse, know where to go for help, and feel able to ask for help when they need it.

Conversations can take place one-on-one or in small groups, and can be face-to-face, online (Zoom/Teams) or by phone or text depending on personal preference.

Following this, we will publish a project report that explains what we heard through key emerging themes and recommendations for change. Any information shared will be fully anonymized to ensure the safety of participants and their families.

“We want this to be a positive experience for everyone involved and it’s not about ticking boxes or asking people to answer a prescribed set of questions. While we’re interested in hearing about your experience, we won’t rush you for details.

“It’s always going to be about how comfortable you are with sharing and what you want us to know. We’re interested in what worked for you, what barriers you may have encountered, and what would have makes a difference for you.

Dina Holder, project manager

Participants will be offered time credits, which are vouchers that can be redeemed for a wide range of services and activities in appreciation for their time and contributions. More information can be found on the Time Credits website.

If you would like to participate or find out more, please contact: Dina Holder on 07398 893 242 or by email dina.holder@ageukcornwall.org.uk

or email OPProject@ageukcornwall.org.uk

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