There is not a joined-up approach to service provision for women and men affected by domestic and sexual abuse, which is the problem that Women’s Aid NI and Aerona are trying to solve.
Many victims do not necessarily recognize abuse even when it is happening to them, they need answers to fundamental questions such as: Is my relationship healthy? Is it abusive? These questions need to be asked before people can determine if their relationship is abusive in any way. So, the problem really is about how we communicate information, how we connect with people.
Through the Techies in Residence Programme the team has started to address this problem – learning about how to get the key messages out there in a new way, how to use online space to talk to people. The new service uses plain, positive language, eye catching images; it questions how Women’s Aid NI can appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Consequently, the conversation has started to change through recognising the need for a bigger, better, bolder online service that talks to people, especially young people, who have expressed the need for a different conversation during recent consultations.
So far, the team has been learning about how to use Tech to do this, to change the conversation about abuse. They have looked at messaging – how to present things and the process has encouraged them to think about how they can build services online, talking to people in innovative meaningful ways and thinking about how they get information – a new paradigm in supporting people online. The portal in development has the capacity for this and will support this innovative way of working.