Uniting against abuse

Posted on February, 2024

This month, CEO Jo reflects on why coming from our community matters

Laura Resize 409

Brighton and Hove are incredible places to live. Back in 2022, Brighton featured in the 2022 Sunday Times Best Places To Live list. With the sea, the Lanes, the cliffs, a kaleidoscope of colours and the undying spirit of individuality, we know why it holds a special place in so many people’s hearts.

We’re what’s known as a ‘specialist service’ - we provide services BY people with understanding and experience of the issues we deal with, FOR people with experience of the issues we deal with. This means we aren’t just supporting the Brighton and Hove community – we are part of that community ourselves. And you, reading this – you could be working with us one day, too (check out our jobs and volunteering opportunities)

For us, this means that no-one fleeing domestic abuse here walks alone. We stand shoulder to shoulder, together against domestic abuse. As one RISE survivor said recently,

“Abuse is the ultimate in isolation. To be strong you need to be part of a sisterhood.”

Community takes many forms. When survivors come together and talk, they find that it’s not ‘just them’. When a business donates Christmas gifts or 8K prizes or sponsors an event, they are saying to their teams, their customers, their supply chain, ‘We stand against abuse. We will not tolerate it.’ When a woman experiencing abuse sees a woman running in an 8K technical shirt or vest, she might just realise that there are women out there who will believe her when she is ready to talk.

So, what do we do in and with our community? Quite a lot!

Our Communities Rising project mobilises the voices, skills, actions and networks of women survivors and others in our communities, to galvanise positive change around the issue of violence against women and girls – check out the Community Ambassador programme here.

We recognise that specific groups of people who experience abuse need specific services – so we offer focused support, informed by our service users, to Mothers and Children, Black and Minoritised Communities, Children and Young People, LGBT people experiencing abuse, Older Women, and Disabled Women.

Our 8K Undercliff Run for Women brings together hundreds of women and girls, as runners, supporters and volunteers, for a joyful, fun and fabulously flat, run, and raises £25,000 every October – a huge support for our work.

Events like this one at PLATF9RM last summer gave us the chance to soak up the sun and meet women like you face-to-face, as well as raising over £400 to support our work.

And what can *you* do?

However, you get involved with us, we’re looking forward to meeting you. Domestic abuse hides in the shadows – community brings the support, the absolute rejection of abuse, into the light.

Fancy organising an event? Is there something you’d love to do but need to give yourself an extra push to start planning? Whether it’s a sponsored swim, a challenge event or just a get together with donations in a hat, you can have fun while raising funds.

Facebook fundraisers are a fabulous thing to set up for birthdays if you are in the fortunate position of not wanting or needing presents. Every single penny raised there is money we can use as we need to – they might not look like huge amounts but believe me, they add up and we appreciate every single one.

For business

Domestic Abuse affects the whole life of whoever is experiencing it – it's not just an issue at home, it affects friendships, money, work – everything. So, we work with the business community to help staff and senior management teams understand domestic violence and abuse, how it affects people, and what they can do in the workplace to support colleagues and help reduce the impact. Businesses can book training here and can become RISE Business Partners or RISE Professional Ambassadors here.

Fancy an evening out with us?

Coming up soon, we are excited to be part of the Wave of Love: Bringing Brighton Together on February 15

Hosted by the Mayor of Brighton and supporting all four of her chosen charities for the year, we're looking forward to an evening of incredible entertainment including the delicious funk & soul sounds of the Gyratory Allstars and a stunning location. Will you join us on Brighton Palace Pier. Even if you can't attend yourself, you can pay it forward and buy a ticket so that someone else can come for the evening.

See you somewhere, soon.