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Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley lead new initiative supporting domestic abuse victims

A programme supporting adult survivors of domestic abuse has been shortlisted for a national award.

A joint initiative between the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, BRAVE (Building Resilience and Valuing Emotions after domestic abuse) works with adults who have been emotionally impacted by an abusive relationship.

The 12-week programme of therapeutic sessions and single-sex support groups aims to offer abuse victims a safe space to open up about their experiences and learn coping mechanisms to help deal with their trauma.

BRAVE logo
BRAVE logo

Graduates of the programme also have access to the BRAVE EMBRACE group, which provides further emotional support for an additional two years.

But not all victims are women.

The recently launched BRAVE Too programme provides support to male victims of domestic abuse who, statistics show, represent 26 per cent of all domestic abuse related crimes.

The project has been shortlisted in the Mental Health Innovation of the Year category of the Health Service Journal awards.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, said: “BRAVE is a pioneering programme working to support victims of domestic abuse across Berkshire.

“I am pleased to fund this important project and am delighted the transformative work of partners is being recognised in this way.”

Consultant psychologist, Natasha Berthollier, and BRAVE team lead, Jane Barker, added: “We are proud and honoured that the voices of our BRAVE community have been recognised.

“Our innovative psychological programme, which is coproduced between staff and our clients, continually responds and adapts to meet the needs of our population.

“On behalf of our service users and BRAVE ambassadors, we thank the OPCC for its ongoing, continuous support.”

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