The Helpline has been commissioned to set up a Domestic Abuse Champions Network across Hertfordshire so that anyone who discloses that they are a victim of domestic abuse can be signposted to sources of help and advice.  To do this we need to identify ordinary people in public facing jobs who could train to become Champions.

Domestic Abuse is Everybody’s Business

It may surprise you to know that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lives.  It is highly likely that some of your colleagues, clients or customers are currently suffering domestic abuse.

Anyone can experience domestic abuse, regardless of ethnicity, gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.  However, for many, disclosing it and confiding in someone can be a difficult step to take.

It is vital, whenever and wherever someone shares that they have been affected by domestic abuse, that there is the right support to signpost them quickly to help and advice.

A Network of Domestic Abuse Champions

Research tells us that most domestic abuse victims go down a number of paths before they find appropriate help and support.  The solution is to provide better, more direct help through a network of Domestic Abuse Champions based within businesses and organisations.  This provides colleagues with a go-to person for discreet advice and support in managing cases where domestic abuse is a factor.

In turn it creates a more joined up approach to helping domestic abuse victims and allows Champions to work more effectively with their colleagues to make sure they receive the most up to date information, local resources and support.

Domestic Abuse Champions will also have direct access to local domestic abuse support networks and are able to call on other champions to assist in supporting victims of domestic abuse and their dependants quickly and safely.

We need people like you

Successful networks of Domestic Abuse Champions already exist in other parts of the country and Hertfordshire is now developing its own.  We therefore need dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to join our network.  We’re looking for individuals from all walks of business and community life (social workers, doctors, dentists, hairdressers/barbers, publicans, estate agents and pharmacists for example) to become Herts Sunflower Domestic Abuse Champions within their organisations.

You will be provided with full training.  All we need in return aside from your time and commitment, are:

·       Good communication and listening skills;

·       Experience of working with people to resolve problems

·       It would be useful too, but not essential, if you had a knowledge of domestic abuse and its impact on adults, children and the wider community.

Importantly, if you are employed, we will need to get your employer’s authorisation before accepting you onto our training course.  Not only will they have to support your aspirations to be a Herts Sunflower Domestic Abuse Champion, but they will have to support you to attend training.  They will also have a responsibility to monitor your ongoing welfare.  For this reason, we ask that you discuss the opportunity with your employer first to get their full support.

Benefits of Being a Champion

By becoming a Herts Sunflower Domestic Abuse Champion, not only could you make a real difference to someone’s life, but you will have the opportunity to develop your own skills.  You will benefit from:

·       Personal development and expanding your knowledge.

·       Peer support from our network of Champions.

·       Gaining the skills to advise and support others.

·       Meeting new people and working within a rewarding team. 

Community Champions will be provided with a half day J9 training session to help them understand, recognise and respond appropriately to those affected by domestic abuse.  J9 training was developed in memory of Janine Mundy, a mother killed by her estranged husband in 2003.  The J9 tag reflects the way Janine used to sign her text messages.  The initiative was started by her family and Police in Cornwall.

Ongoing training and monthly updates via newsletters and direct contact will also be provided, along with access to a Champions Online Forum.

Example scenarios

·       A client in a hairdressing salon mentions that her partner insists her hair is a certain length, colour and she has to comply or he will get angry. 

·       Someone visiting an estate agent wants to find rented accommodation fast and wants their contact details kept confidential or can’t share them.

·       A colleague’s partner is checking up where she is, texting or phoning her all the time.

The above are just a couple of examples of how someone with just a very basic understanding of how to engage with a customer, start an appropriate conversation and refer someone into sources of help on domestic abuse, could make a difference.

How to apply

Please contact Christine Duala, our Champions Network Manager on 07464 305032 or email her at