Royal Television Awards 2018 - Innovation Award
Tech4Good Community Award 2018 - Runner-up  

Powerful new voice for domestic abuse survivors

18th November 2019

New insight into the horror of domestic abuse was revealed at a national police conference, thanks to pioneering award-winning techniques developed by Digital Voice with local partners.

Digital Voice for Communities worked closely with survivors of abuse to capture the realities of psychological control as well as physical threats that are too often hidden behind closed doors. The findings were so powerful that they were screened at the opening of a conference of Domestic Abuse: A Whole System Approach on 20 November 2019. Organisations represented arranged further screenings and to use the messages from survivors their own training programmes.

The project was funded by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victims Fund, and carried out with partners Tyneside Women’s Health and Newcastle’s Integrated Domestic Abuse Service. Dr Kelly Henderson from Northumbria Police’s DAWSA Team said: “Brilliant work by Digital Voice, working with women who have experienced domestic abuse and giving them a voice so that they can heard. The project delivered key messages that ALL those working with survivors need to hear. I feel incredibly privileged to have been involved - what a fabulous project!” About 1.3 million women and nearly 700,000 men experienced domestic abuse in the UK in 2018, with murders linked to domestic violence the highest in five years.

The DigitalMe approach draws on digital skills and creative teamwork to share stories of people who may need to remain anonymous. Innovative work with looked-after children won recognition from the Royal Television Society and Tech4Good, and the approach to be developed for people experiencing severe poverty.

Julie Nicholson, DV's managing director, said, "Digital media provides a way to give a voice to people who too often are ignored - opening up new ways to improve lives and strengthen our society." Digital Voice is currently using the DigitalMe process to give a voice to women with experience of sexual violence (with Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland), people who have experienced homelessness and those vulnerable to loan sharks. They are fundraising to work with young people who self harm or who are survivors of child sexual exploitation and longer-term seeking to develop the process to help tackle female genital mutilation.

Digital Voice also works with partners across the North East of England to develop and deliver specialised digital services for marginalised groups such as refugees, people with dementia and people with a wide range of disabilities, and manages intergenerational projects to celebrate local heritage and strengthen local communities.

More news stories about projects in our area.