Making a difference: Community engagement project in Newquay seeks over-60s to share experiences of domestic abuse, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse


Safer Cornwall is working with Age UK and The Women’s Centre Cornwall on a pilot project in Newquay to understand the experiences of over 60s who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. This is to ultimately improve our response and develop services that are more accessible for older people in Cornwall.

We have recruited a team of facilitators, who are working in the Newquay community and meeting with a wide range of residents aged 60+. We want to understand the experiences of people over 60 who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse and hear what was helpful or may have been helpful in any response they did or didn’t receive, as well as what needs to be improved.

“People over the age of 60 and their circumstances are often overlooked: It is vital to the health and safety of all our community that we now address this and respond to recommendations for improvement of support.

“Our residents’ opinions are the ones that matter most - we want to hear from people over 60 who have lived or are still living with the harm caused by domestic abuse, sexual violence and/or sexual abuse and work together to make a difference to the services offered in future.”

Carol Mould, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods

What we hear will directly help us to work together to better identify, respond and provide the support that people want and need. This will help to bring the realities of domestic abuse and sexual violence out of the shadows, reducing the stigma, stereotypes and blame that are currently attached. Our aim is that everyone is better able to recognise abuse, knows where to go for support and feels able to reach out for support when they need it.

Conversations can take place on a one-to-one basis or in small groups, and can be face-to-face, online (Zoom/Teams) or via phone or text depending on personal preferences. 

Following this, we will publish a report of the project that explains what we heard by way of the key themes coming through and recommendations for change. Any information shared will be fully anonymised to ensure safety for participants and their family.

“We want this to be a positive experience for all that take part and it isn’t about ticking boxes or asking people to answer a prescribed set of questions. Whilst we are interested to hear about your experience, we will not press you for details.

“This will always be about how much you are comfortable with sharing and want us to know.  We are interested in what worked for you, what barriers you may have experienced and what would have made a difference for you.”

Dina Holder, Project Manager

Participants’ will be offered Time Credits, which are vouchers that can be redeemed on a wide range of services and activities as thanks for their time and contributions. More information can be found on the Time Credits website.

If you would like to be involved or know more, please contact: Dina Holder on 07398 893 242 or email dina.holder@ageukcornwall.org.uk 

Or e-mail OPProject@ageukcornwall.org.uk

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