Jacky is an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser who works for Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse, in Oxfordshire. She helps women who are dealing with everything from fleeing an abusive relationship, to testifying in court.
“So many women have no idea what support is available to them. They think that they’re alone and that there’s no way out of their situation as this is what they’re being told day in and day out by their perpetrators and they soon come to believe it.
I try and gain their trust and let them know that I will be there for them, first and foremost; advocating on their behalf. The most important job I do is safety planning with them…. I will help them through the criminal court process.
I'll arrange a pre-trial visit, usually a week before the trial is to take place, so that they can familiarise themselves with the court layout beforehand. I’ll often stay with them in court whilst they give evidence.”
One client describes Jacky as the “guardian” that helped her through pressing charges against her ex-partner. Jacky says the satisfaction of seeing women moving on into positive futures provides “…the best type of job satisfaction that you could ever hope for.”
“All my clients know that they can contact me at any time for advice and assistance, or simply as a shoulder to cry on.
The transformation between seeing a client that had low self-esteem who is tearful, frightened, fretful, scared and depressed to one who is full of vitality, confidence and self-assurance is the best high on the planet.”
There were 2,581 incidents of domestic violence reported to the police in Oxford last year, with many more incidents unreported. Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse works intensively with people who are at risk of harm in their own homes – keeping them safe and helping them to rebuild their lives..
Comic Relief cash helps to provide immediate safety planning, ongoing advice and flexible support for those experiencing domestic abuse, along with specialised services for people at high risk, to keep them safe both in the short and long term.