Would you spot the signs and know how to support a domestic abuse victim?

PUBLISHED: 07:01 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 11 September 2019

L-R: Zoe Crossan from Herts Fire and Rescue, Heart 2 Herts Counselling's Angie Lozanova, Sarah Sutton from Herts Family Centre service, course trainers Steve Gibbs and Amanda McIntyre, domestic abuse helpline volunteers Leigh Smith and Rebecca Galloway from NHDC. Picture: NHDC

L-R: Zoe Crossan from Herts Fire and Rescue, Heart 2 Herts Counselling's Angie Lozanova, Sarah Sutton from Herts Family Centre service, course trainers Steve Gibbs and Amanda McIntyre, domestic abuse helpline volunteers Leigh Smith and Rebecca Galloway from NHDC. Picture: NHDC

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A training course to equip participants with skills to identify and support domestic abuse victims has been hosted by North Herts District Council.

As a result of the course, participants - who regularly meet members of the public as part of their day-to-day work - were trained in how to understand domestic abuse, recognise and respond to victims and understand how they can provide information for victims to seek further help and support.

In total 19 delegates from a variety of public service roles, including family support workers, psychotherapists, domestic violence helpline volunteers and Herts Fire and Rescue Service staff took part and were awarded 'community champion' status.

The course was delivered by the Stefanou Foundation on behalf of the Herts Sunflower J9 Domestic Abuse Initiative and Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline.

Course delegate Sarah Sutton, a family support worker from the Hertfordshire Family Centre Service, said: "I attended the training to gain a better understanding of what services are available in Hertfordshire so, with greater knowledge, we can support families in very difficult situations to move forward effectively."

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Cllr Judi Billing, NHDC's executive member for community engagement, said: "It is vital that we help those affected by domestic abuse to break the cycle and seek help at the earliest opportunity.

"I extend a huge thank you to those who have chosen to attend this course. By using the knowledge they have gained they really will make a difference to people's lives."

Christine Duala from the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline said: "It is important to ensure trained community champions are updated on a regular basis therefore as a community champion these course participants will receive training throughout the a year as well as regular e-bulletin updates around the champions network."

Two more free courses will take place in Letchworth on October 9.

If you have a public-facing job and would like to attend book online at eventbrite.com/o/safer-places-domestic-abuse-services.

For further information on where to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse go to hertssunflower.org/herts-sunflower or hertssunflower.org/herts-sunflower.

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