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#ChangeThatLasts: A New Approach to Dealing with Domestic Abuse

19 AugFamily relaxing on a sofa


A partnership between Women’s Aid (England) and Welsh Women’s Aid has led to the development of a new cross sector model response to dealing with incidents of domestic abuse. Working with other partners, including local services and national stakeholders, the organisation has carried out a review of existing approaches to tackling domestic abuse and looked at the systems which are currently in place.


Following that review, the Change That Lasts model has been proposed in order to create a cross-sector common approach. It is designed to place the survivor of abuse at the heart of the response and focuses on their needs, strengths and resources. The approach has four principles at its core:

  1. The response to domestic abuse should draw upon and nurture the resources available to an individual survivor, helping to reduce long term reliance on public resources.
  2. Every point of contact with someone should be seen as an opportunity for intervention. They should not be missed and should not result in additional barriers to those that survivors already face.
  3. The opportunity to support non-abusing parents should be fully explored and is likely to lead to the improved safety and well-being of young adults and children.
  4. Interventions should address more than just the immediate safety needs of survivors and their children.

In order to achieve those aims, a five point plan has been created: 

  • L: LISTEN to survivors and place their needs at the centre of the response.
  • A: ASK the right questions in a safe manner and ACT appropriately.
  • S: Know when and how to refer people to SPECIALIST local services.
  • T: Put TOOLS in place, including clear procedures, roles, information and training.
  • S: Work with the survivor and other partner agencies to ensure SUSTAINED independence and freedom.

It is great to see that many of the measures identified in this review are principles and goals shared by Leeway. We believe that the needs of survivors of domestic abuse should be at the centre of any response. Anything which can be done to intervene earlier and help people to build safe and independent lives after being in an abusive relationship can only be a positive thing. 


Leeway is an independent, Norfolk-based charity. We offer free, confidential and non-judgemental support to any adult, young person or child who wants to escape and abusive relationship. Call our 24-hour helpline on
0300 561 0077 for advice and information from our highly-skilled team.


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