SafeHands: Supporting Survivors of Intimate Partner Abuse

Loughborough UniversityGreat Britain

Connecting, Empowering

Concept / Student


Tara Janes


SafeHands is a service that supports survivors of intimate partner abuse in identifying the abuse, building confidence and accessing support in a multi-stage approach.
1: Targeted social media adverts raise awareness of the service. Awareness-raising is important because many people in abusive relationships do not realise they are being abused. This is especially common if the abuse is non-physical.
2: The survivor accesses the Safe Space at their local pharmacy. Safe Spaces is an existing initiative by UKSAYSNOMORE that offers a place for those experiencing abuse at home to have some time alone. Building on this, a key element of SafeHands is a tablet within the Safe Space to better support survivors. Many survivors have their digital devices controlled by their abuser so it is important that their app activity is untraceable, hence the anonymously-used tablet.
The backbone of the tablet app is a chatbot that gently asks questions to build up a picture of the abuse the survivor is experiencing. This information is used to show the survivor relatable information and stories from other survivors to help them come to terms with the abuse they are experiencing.
3: Survivor builds confidence and progresses to talking to a support worker via the app.
4: Survivor is signposted to SafeStrolls, a discreet branch of SafeHands that allows them to meet with a support worker one-on-one to safety plan, get support and build confidence in talking about their experiences, before progressing to existing offerings, such as group sessions and therapy.

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