We ensure that our online domestic abuse recovery groups are accessible by involving several key considerations to meet the needs of our diverse clients. This includes:
Digital Accessibility: increased demand for on-line services has led to increased access for those with anxiety, disabilities, travel restrictions or caring responsibilities, but has also reduced equality of access for some. If you would like to use one of our services but are currently unable to access them due to not having the necessary devices, Wifi/data or tech literacy, please get in touch and we will try to identify a way of helping you to join us.
We are currently working on ensuring that our online platform and materials are accessible to individuals with disabilities. We are able to use live subtitles. Our IDVA service can be offered by phone, on-line for those that need to lip read etc or face-to-face.
Language Accessibility: We are looking into the practicalities of providing a translation service in a group context, or materials in different languages as needed.
Cultural Sensitivity: We recognize and respect the cultural diversity of those that may need our support. We strive to offer materials and support services that are culturally sensitive and relevant, and ensure that our staff are trained to understand and address cultural differences sensitively.
Safe and Inclusive Environment: Our priority is to create a safe and inclusive environment. We establish ground rules for respectful communication and behaviour, and take proactive steps to address any instances of discrimination, harassment, or exclusion. Our approach is rooted in its commitment to providing trauma-informed services to support and care for victim-survivors of domestic abuse with a particular focus on women (and their children). HSES strives to ensure all its services prioritise safety, dignity and privacy whilst balancing fairness, proportionality and accessibility. Research confirms that because of the rate, severity and impact of male violence against women and girls in society, the safety, dignity and privacy of women and girls is improved when single-sex services are available to them. In recognition of this, the Equality Act 2010 explicitly permits service providers to maintain single-sex spaces if it is legitimate and proportionate to do so. For this reason, some of our groups, including this recovery group, are for women registered as female at birth.
Flexible Group Times: We schedule our groups at different times that are convenient for a diverse range of clients, taking into account that the majority of clients have school-aged children and other family responsibilities, and that some may not be available during the day due to their work schedule.
Privacy and Confidentiality: Ensure that our clients' privacy and confidentiality are protected. We use secure online platforms for meetings and communications, and have established clear guidelines for handling sensitive information.
Financial Accessibility: All our services are free of charge to ensure that they are accessible to individuals with limited financial resources.
Training for staff: Our staff are trained and supported to ensure that they are equipped to effectively support clients with diverse needs and backgrounds.
Please do give us feedback on the accessibility of our services so we can make adjustments accordingly.