Judith's Story of her 24 years Supporting TDAS
How I became involved with TDAS
"Prior to becoming a Councillor I had been involved in a few charities such as Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Community Health Council. Councillor Bernice Garlick asked me in 1996 if I would join the management committee of Trafford Women’s Aid. I agreed and, if I am totally honest, I knew about domestic abuse but had little experience. I had studied Sociology ‘A’ Level and remembered being horrified to learn that if Newcastle United football team lost a match then the fans would beat their wives! What I think is really sad today is that even now when teams lose during football tournaments, some fans’ wives and girlfriends are still suffering.
At Trafford Women’s Aid I was pleased to join a very welcoming environment and a very hard working team of committed women. They were always championing the cause of women suffering domestic abuse. The committee were thought of by many as “lesbian man-haters” for their work against domestic abuse. I think this was due to the prevailing attitude at the time. The committee were always professional and fought hard to get recognition of the problem of domestic abuse."
Policy and Effects on Refuge
"It has been good over time to see social attitudes changing. The refuge has changed so much and still continues to provide a good emergency service but we now have properties in the community as well.
The change in police attitude to what were previously “domestics” was very interesting, suddenly we had a police force who now were much more interested. They now provided proper statistics and became much more integral to partnership working, along with Health and Council Services.
Domestic Abuse has developed from the ‘Cinderella service’ of Trafford Women’s Aid; dependent on grants from here, there and everywhere, to a more mainstream service (although still relying on grants). There is more security for TDAS but not total.
The organisation has changed enormously since I first arrived. Trafford Domestic Abuse Services support adults and children. We are now invited into schools to educate young people. There is also now recognition that domestic abuse is about more than bruises, but encompasses all forms of abuse. Preventative work is a cornerstone of what we do and we are one of the few organisations that provide services for both men and women for which I am very proud, even though that stance has to be defended sometimes.
Our work with children is well-recognised in terms of grant funding and in the wider partnership. It is important that this work continues to protect their wellbeing in difficult circumstances.
Throughout my council career I have championed TWA/TDAS. I have been glad to gain insight into domestic abuse and what to look for so I can advise and signpost with confidence. I can also recognise the signs of abuse within my own circle of friends and acquaintances and signpost to appropriate help.
The TDAS training is excellent and trustees are all expected to attend courses. We always need to keep up to date with new legislation. The training we receive is recognised in other spheres of work.
The development of TDAS has been phenomenal and that is due to a dedicated workforce and trust board members. We have workers and committee members who are diverse, innovative and who are good at promoting the needs of our service users. TDAS is an integral part of partnerships in Trafford. TDAS is recognised widely as a professional service run by an amazing team of people who are consulted by other organisations for their expertise.
I’m proud to serve on the trust board and proud of the achievements TDAS has made over the last 30 years!"