Did you know that according to a Public Health England report in 2015, people with disabilities are more vulnerable to domestic abuse for longer periods of time than people without a disability?
According to this report, this can often be due to social isolation and stigma, which can leave people with disabilities with a smaller support network to confide in and to recognise the signs of someone experiencing domestic abuse.
Within MacIntyre, we believe that people we support should live a life that makes sense them, which for some people means being in a relationship. However as Sadie Scott Area Manager for MacIntyre in Milton Keynes explains, our staff must be confident enough to identify signs of domestic abuse in these relationships.
Referring to relationships and people we support, Sadie said:
“We need our staff to be confident when supporting relationships with the people we support, they need to be skilled in being able to spot the signs. This is where the training that we give our staff is vital. Safeguarding should always be a topic of discussion in supervisions and staff team meeting, providing the opportunity for staff to question when they feel something isn't right. It is important that as a support provider, we understand and are respectful of relationships people we support may have. It is also vital that we do all we can, to ensure that we support through the good and the more challenging times too.
We have supported individuals that have been subjected to abuse from their partner whether that be verbal, psychological or physical abuse. What has been more challenging, is getting the person to accept their behaviour towards their partner is detrimental, as in their mind, they are just name-calling, so it 'doesn't matter'. It can be difficult for that person to accept that the behaviour they are displaying is not acceptable and that for us, is one of the hardest challenges. We have sourced support from external specialists to help couples to understand that this behaviour is not acceptable, to work with the person to understand why they react or behave in a certain way towards their partner.
This has also been the case where a person's needs have changed. The person may have become unwell, or unable to fulfil their role as a wife or husband. This has presented us with different challenges, as it can be difficult to understand why someone is behaving differently and the pressure that this can put on their relationship with their partner.”
To find out more about safeguarding at MacIntyre, visit Our Approach section on our website.