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DeafHope UK- The First Deaf Women’s Refuge

May 20, 2013

I was very interested recently to find out about an organisation called DeafHope UK.

Established by SignHealth, this is the UK’s first specialist organisation for deaf women experiencing domestic violence. It was founded by Laraine Callow MBE in 2009.

DeafHope UK supports Deaf women who are experiencing, or who are survivors of, domestic abuse, and their children.

Their services include:

  • Providing Deaf advocates to support women to access mainstream services if that is their choice.
  • The direct service of a trained Deaf outreach worker.
  • Referral to SignHealth’s specialist BSL therapy services.

DeafHope UK is also working to influence laws, policy and practice to ensure the needs of Deaf women and children experiencing abuse are recognized and fully met.

They work in partnership with key national and local agencies to develop guidelines for best practice for supporting Deaf women and their children.

They deliver specialist training programmes to front line staff of service providers.

They also run a Young DeafHope service, which provides workshops for Deaf people aged 11-30. These workshops aim to teach the young people what a healthy relationship is, and to prevent them copying abusive behaviour. There are also sessions on coping with bullying and staying safe.

As a disabled woman with an interest in women’s rights issues, I am very pleased to learn that a specialist service like DeafHope UK is available. I think it is a very good idea and hope that it is able to continue for a long time to come.

 

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