Getting the Right Support for Victims of Sexual Violence and Abuse who have a Learning Disability

Getting the Right Support for Victims of Sexual Violence and Abuse who have a Learning Disability

Overview

The JustUS Project is a partnership project led by Positive Futures and working with Compass Advocacy Network, Informing Choices NI (formerly FPA), Nexus NI, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and Queen’s University Belfast. The project has been working to improve support for people with a learning disability who have experienced sexual violence and abuse.

Project Advocates

The project is co-led by 4 adults with a learning disability who act as Project Advocates and are involved in the leadership and delivery of the project.

About

People with a disability have a voice that must be heard when working for their human rights. This is why I got involved in this project as an advocate!

Project Advocate

Pilot Counselling Programme

Following training on learning disability delivered by Positive Futures, Nexus NI created a counselling programme for 18 adults with a learning disability. 11 of these people took part in an evaluation led by Queen’s University. This meant that a researcher from Queen’s asked them questions about how the counselling was helping them. You can read the results of this in the QUB evaluation report.

About

PSNI & PPS Training

We delivered a training session for 20 people from the PSNI & PPS to support them to feel more confident when working with someone who has a learning disability. Everyone who took part in the training said they would recommend it!

About

I deal with people as victims of crime, witnesses and defendants, and this training will help inform how I interact with them and support them to engage with the criminal justice process

There is a huge gap of need for this training across every work area in the PSNI

Training participants

Screening Tool

The JustUS Project has been working to create a screening tool to support first response officers (police officers who come out when a crime has happened) and call handlers (the people who answer phone calls to the police) to check if someone may have a learning disability. This will be tested this year.v

About

Easy-Read Guide

We have made an illustrated easy-read guide that explains criminal justice processes (what happens at the police station and at court) for people with a learning disability. We have also made an animated video that tells people with a learning disability how to report sexual abuse and what support they can get.

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About

JustUS Card

The JustUS Project has been working to create a screening tool to support first response officers (police officers who come out when a crime has happened) and call handlers (the people who answer phone calls to the police) to check if someone may have a learning disability. This will be tested this year.

About

If you would like any more information, please get in touch with the officer in charge of your case or the Public Prosecution Service. There are also other organisations that are there to help you. You can contact them whether or not you decide to report a crime to the police. They can give you free, confidential support.

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