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Berkshire Domestic Abuse initiative shortlisted for national award

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A programme funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner that works to support adult survivors of domestic abuse in Berkshire has been shortlisted for a national award.

BRAVE (Building Resilience and Valuing Emotions after domestic abuse) works with adults who have been in an abusive relationship and who experience emotional difficulties as a result of the abuse.

The 12-week programme seeks to build resilience among victims through therapeutic sessions in single-sex support groups which offer victims a safe space to open up about their experiences and learn coping mechanisms to help them deal with the impact of the abuse.

Graduates of the 12-week programme also have access to the BRAVE EMBRACE group which provides further emotional support for an additional two years.

Added to this is the recently launched BRAVE Too programme which provides much-needed support to male victims of domestic abuse who, statistics show, represent 26% of all domestic abuse related crimes.

BRAVE is a joint initiative between Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley.

The project has been shortlisted in the Mental Health Innovation of the Year category of the Health Service Journal awards.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, says: “BRAVE is a pioneering programme working to support victims of domestic abuse across Berkshire. I am pleased to fund this important project and am delighted that the transformative work of partners is being recognised in this way.”

Natasha Berthollier, Consultant Psychologist, and Jane Barker, BRAVE Team Lead, say: “We are proud and honoured that the voices of our BRAVE community have been recognised. Our innovative psychological programme, which is coproduced between staff and our clients, continually responds and adapts to meet the needs of our population. On behalf of our service users and BRAVE Ambassadors, we thank the OPCC for their ongoing, continuous support. “