Black Country Women’s Aid encourages volunteers to make a difference by training to become Community Champions.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been a dangerous time for those suffering domestic abuse, as the lockdown may have heightened domestic tensions and cut off escape routes. As lockdown eases, victims will be looking for help and support.

We are calling for people in Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall to get involved as Community Champions, to act as positive voices standing up against domestic abuse and helping to spread the word about routes to safety.

We will offer free online training to equip Community Champions with what they need to talk about domestic abuse, help raise awareness of the support on offer and eventually deliver awareness training themselves in their communities.

Why is it important?

There are still many misunderstandings about domestic abuse. People often do not realise how common domestic abuse is: 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their life. Domestic abuse doesn’t just mean physical violence, it also includes coercive and controlling behavior, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and harassment. Domestic abuse isn’t just between partners, it can be perpetrated by anyone in the household, including family members or carers. Men can also experience domestic abuse, and they may find it harder to talk about.

Many people also do not know about the local support services that are available, or that they can get independent, confidential advice and support without reporting to the police.

How you can help as a Community Champion

There are many ways to make a difference as a Community Champion, from talking to people about the training and what you’ve learned, to challenging people who spread myths about domestic abuse, sharing contact information for support services, distributing leaflets and even organising an awareness stand at a local community event. We will offer training, resources and support.

Who can get involved?

This online training is available to anyone in the community who wants to make a difference. It is perfect for anybody who regularly comes into contact with the public, for example shop owners such as hairdressers and beauticians, as well as staff and volunteers from community centres and small community organisations, and people who are looking for an opportunity to give back.

Find out more

For more information, please contact Black Country Women’s Aid’s Volunteer Coordinator, Denise Turner, by emailing denise.turner@blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk

Click here to book onto the Community Champions training.

Or visit our volunteering page:  www.blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk/volunteering