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NWRC launches new domestic abuse course during 16 Days of Action

28 November 2023
Group of people pictured outside NWRC holding a board raising awareness of the 16 days of action.

North West Regional College (NWRC) is delivering a brand new course for staff working in the local health and social care sector and those working to support victims of domestic abuse.

The new Level 3 course in Preventing and Tackling Domestic Violence has been made available thanks to funding from the Department for the Economy. It is being supported by the Western Trust, Woman’s Aid, the PSNI and Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

The qualification will provide knowledge of best practices, tools that will be employed in practice, networking opportunities, and masterclasses from professionals to improve multiagency working. It is hoped that this new programme will build confidence to tackle domestic abuse. A range of professionals from Foyle Woman's Aid and Western Health and Social Care Trust are currently undertaking the training.

Sinead Hawkins, Business Skills Manager at NWRC said: “This course is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and as a college we are delighted to welcome our first cohort of students during the annual 16 days of Action, a campaign to tackle gender-based violence in our society. The Level 3 Certificate in Preventing and Tackling Domestic and Sexual Abuse/Violence is aimed at professionals whose work brings them into contact with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and their children.”

Gillian Moss, Head of Client Services at NWRC said: “The launch of this course demonstrates our support for the 16 Days of Action campaign and gives the college the opportunity to promote the safeguarding policies across all our campuses. NWRC staff are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where students feel safe.

“Our staff recently took part in Operation Encompass training. This initiative is a police and education early information partnership which allows our safeguarding team to offer immediate support to children experiencing domestic abuse.

“This sharing of information enables appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.”

Marie Brown, Director of Foyle Women’s Aid said: “The 2023 16 days of Action are vital in raising awareness of the key issues around violence against women and girls and help create a world where they are safe from harm.

“We must continue to work together to raise awareness and share educational advice and support. I look forward to continuing to work with NWRC in the delivery of these courses.”

Mairead McGilloway, who is currently seconded from her Head of Service post at the Western Health and Social Care Trust to the Office of Social Services at the Department of Health said: “I am delighted to have been involved in the partnership with NWRC and Women’s Aid and the development of this course. This course is an innovative development to support frontline practitioners to learn together and to enhance their knowledge and skills in their daily practice. We are grateful to NWRC for facilitating this unique opportunity for staff to receive training in Preventing and Tackling Domestic Violence.”

Suzanne Mahon Assistant Director for Safeguarding Children in the Western Trust said: “During the 16 Days of Action the Western Trust are running several events to highlight and raise awareness of domestic violence and we encourage organisations and Individual people to help in supporting the campaign. We must continue to work together to support victims of domestic violence and to prevent and end domestic violence.”

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