Telephone Opening Hours
For Men: 01246 555549
Open Monday to Friday – 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm
For Professionals: 01246 540464
Open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 5pm.
If you would like to see a worker face to face, call us and we can book you an appointment.
(Nationally Accredited to the Helplines Partnership Standard)
offering support via the phone for men who need someone to listen to their experience of domestic abuse. We offer impartial advice on safety planning, legal options, finances, safeguarding your children, housing options and immigration issues. We understand that it is often a big step to contact a helpline, and all calls will be dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner.
- DDVSAS’s helpline service is non- directive.
- Helpline workers aim to enable callers to make their own choices.
- It is important to us that we empower the caller and do not make personal judgements or attempt to influence.
- We have a Zero tolerance to abusive calls
- We provide information not personal advice or views.
- If we don’t know the answer to a specific query then we signpost to either an appropriate service or research and call back.
Operating Derbyshire County Wide.
At times calls made to the helpline may be listened to by another member of the helpline team. This is part of our training and development and enables us to provide a better service.
Our Community Workers can arrange to see you at your home or another location convenient to you. To be referred into the Community Team you can either ring the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Support Line on 08000 198 668.
Our refuges and floating support service are funded by a contract with Derbyshire Accommodation and Support Team, Derbyshire County Council. We provide these services in partnership with Trident Reach the People Charity (TRPC), NDWA delivering in Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire and TRPC in South Derbyshire and Erewash.
A male refuge provides short term accommodation for those needing to flee domestic abuse. We understand how difficult it is for you and your children to move away from familiar surroundings. Our staff will provide you with support for emotional, financial, legal, housing and other issues so you can begin to rebuild your life.
Dispersed Refuge Properties in the community
3 dispersed properties provide accommodation for a family who may have additional needs for example large families, boys over 18 years old, drug or alcohol issues.
Our counselling service is a free service and provides a safe space to talk about things that may have been troubling you for some time. Counselling can help you make changes in your life or work through difficult or confused feelings. The Counselling Service is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and follows its code of ethics.
Derbyshire countywide services:
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA)
Provides high risk crisis management including IDVA support at Specialist Domestic Violence Court in Chesterfield and a Health based IDVA based in a local hospital.
SAM Voluntary Perpetrator Programme
The Programme provides support to both perpetrators of intimate partner abuse and their current or ex-partners.
The programme delivers a 35 week structured programme which seeks to reduce and stop abusive behaviour by offering support so that the perpetrators better understand their own behaviour and the impacts and risks of this behaviour.
The programme also includes a team of Women’s Safety Workers who will work with the partners or ex partners of perpetrators participating in the programme, to ensure the women’s safety and those of any dependants.
Please see below a document providing more information on this service
James met Zoe 23 years ago. They had a ‘casual’ relationship which resulted in Zoe having a baby boy by James. As James’ adult life spiralled out of control, they did not have contact for many years.
James first went to prison when he was 17 and states he has spent around 7 years of his life in prison for various offences to include drug dealing and fighting.
When he came out of prison after a long spell inside he wanted to find Zoe and his son. He did this only to discover that Zoe had also had another baby boy by James. However, they had both been taken into care. The youngest boy, Alfie, now 19 was returned to mum but Richard, now 22 was adopted. James is still trying to find him.
During their time apart, Zoe had two more children, a boy, now 15 and a girl now 17 and had been the victim of domestic abuse.
James and Zoe rekindled their relationship seven years ago and this has resulted in another boy, Reece, now 5. However, Reece was taken into care three years ago because of James and Zoe’s past history – James’ anger and shouting, drinking and drug habit. Social Care stated that Zoe was being abused by James. They are fighting to get Reece home and to avoid him being adopted.
Social Care put James in contact with the SAM Perpetrator Programme. He said he had to do something to try and get his son, Reece home. James has maintained that he has not been abusive to Zoe in their relationship and that social care should check A & E records, as there have been no physical incidents of abuse between him and Zoe and no police call outs. Zoe backs this up and states that she has been to A & E with her former partner with injuries sustained as the result of domestic abuse.
Social Care did not believe Zoe and stated she was the victim of domestic abuse and they had concerns about James’ drinking and smoking cannabis.
James started the course in April 2015 and completed his 26 weeks in November 2015. This is what he had to say about attending the SAM Perpetrator Programme.
“I was told about the SAM Perpetrator Programme by our social worker after they took our youngest son into care due to domestic abuse. I had to prove to them that I was not this violent person they were making me out to be and I knew I had to try and do all I could to help to get our son home. I admit, I have fought men and have got angry but I would never hit a woman.”
“At first, when I attended the course, I didn’t think I needed it. I was one of them lads that you can’t tell anything to but coming on the course and listening to other lads and the group facilitators it has opened my eyes to what abuse really is. It’s not just about physical abuse but it about mental abuse too.”
“The group facilitators and the group members help you to open up and talk about your experiences. I was asked about my upbringing and my parents and how they treated me. I grew up in a family that did not have a lot of money and I had dummy trainers. My brothers and sisters were older and left me there. I would often wonder why they left me there with my parents. I used to get a good hiding now and then. My mum was an alcoholic and I would say nasty things to her, only what I had heard my dad say but he would still try and hit me for saying them. I used to run out of the house. The atmosphere at home was horrible. I never wanted to be in an atmosphere like that. As I got a bit older I started to deal in drugs. I had so much money I didn’t know what to do with it. So, I started to take drugs. I have tried everything. I have been smoking Cannabis since I was 19 but been off it about 8 months now. I was never paranoid with it though. I needed it first thing in the morning or I couldn’t function. I felt weird if I wasn’t in the zone. Same with alcohol. I used to drink Special Brew but that would send me off on one. I drink Fosters now, just at a weekend. Zoe and the kids don’t mind that. “
“The course teaches you about the affects of abuse on children. I have spoken to the kids about it and it has affected them. Kids felt disgusted in me, the way I shouted at mum, arguing, drinking and smoking cannabis in front of them and then going out drinking. Lots of shouting and I think I learnt this behaviour from listening to my parents drinking and shouting at each other and me. The way I used to go on shouting all the time they didn’t like but they also knew it was the alcohol and smoking cannabis which was kicking me off and making me go on it. I kept over thinking things and when I overthink I am horrible and nasty and it has had an impact on them. I think that is why Alfie has moved out in a way and didn’t want to be hearing all the shouting all the time and Katie, Zoe’s daughter, didn’t like it either but she is glad I have done the course and got somewhere and done something about it. I have a better relationship with the kids now. I talk to Alfie and give him money and I talk to him like a normal father should. The last time I spoke to Reece I told him I was coming back for him and not to worry but that was a few years ago now.
I have got somewhere now. It’s the first time I have stuck at anything and completed it. I have to set myself goals. I have completed this course and now I want to be a drugs counsellor as I have been there, tried everything and come out the other side. I want to look into ways of doing this. In all the time I was taking drugs they never asked me why I did or what was the reason behind it. It wasn’t anything to do with my past. I took drugs because I could afford to.
I have learnt a lot from attending the SAM Perpetrator Programme. First of all, what domestic abuse really consists of. I have learnt that the manner of talking and tone in my voice has had an impact on Zoe, I didn’t think it did. I have changed with the way I verbally communicate with her. I remember going home and talking about the sessions and discussing the names I have called her. I told her I was absolutely ashamed of the way I had been speaking to her and the kids and I now know this was wrong of me. I didn’t think it had offended her but it had. Words stick more than hitting and bruising. I have learnt to control what I say and work on my goals from my initial assessment – verbal abuse. I never hit her but I grabbed her once by her chin and told her to listen to me instead of shouting and ranting I know it was abuse now but not at the time I was just trying to shut her up. I have also learnt about Time Out Strategies and the signals to use them. The course has really benefitted me, Zoe and the children. I have really learnt a lot and I enjoy coming back to group as a peer mentor and listening to the new guys on their journeys and being able to tell them about my experiences.
Another goal is for Zoe and me to get married. We have been together long enough now and we are living together as a couple. We are much better suited since coming on the course. Our relationship has changed for the better. Zoe is a lot happier now and more relaxed. She doesn’t have to come home from work thinking I might be on one!
The biggest goal however, is getting Reece back. I told one of the group facilitators about the court case and how we can’t get legal aid now and she has given me the details of Citizens Advice Bureua and Derbyshire Family Law Group and said we might be able to use a Mackenzie friend. Me and Zoe are going to look into this as the next step of trying to get Reece home. I am glad I have attend and completed this course and got this under his belt know as I am hoping it will prove to the courts that I have changed and we can at least start thinking of Reece coming home.