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Announcement of the new joint research

Wednesday 7 December 2022 – SignHealth, Manchester Deaf Centre and Pankhurst Trust: Manchester Women’s Aid announces a ground-breaking joint 6-month consultation with Deaf people on their experiences with Domestic Abuse and local services. The summary of findings will be made available to NHS Manchester Commissioning at the end of March 2023. Specialist support for Deaf victims and survivors nationally is severely lacking.

SignHealth operates the only Deaf led, by and for Domestic Abuse service and is currently funded to cover London and the South East, with a remote offer covering England. Our experience shows that it is essential that Deaf survivors of Domestic Abuse receive localised, specialist support in their home area in addition to mainstream provision. Delivery of service outside London is desperately needed.

With more than 12,000 Deaf and Hard of Hearing people who live in Greater Manchester and local services such as sensory services or social workers being hearing led, it is vital that Deaf BSL users have the option to communicate in their first language, with specialist staff who have lived experience of Deafness.

Based on our previous experience and research we know that Deaf people’s recovery is improved significantly when support is provided directly in BSL, alongside knowledge of Deaf community and culture, and of barriers faced accessing all mainstream services. We know there have been Deaf people in Manchester who have needed support from a Domestic Abuse service. We need more information to support our case for a by and for, specialist Deaf Domestic Abuse service in the Manchester region specifically.

If you wish to find out more or get involved in this consultation, please email da@signhealth.org.uk.

Marie Vickers, Head of Domestic Abuse Service at SignHealth said:

“We are pleased to get funding for this joint consultation with Deaf people in Manchester and surrounding areas. This important consultation will help us to present a case for support to NHS Manchester commissioning next year to develop a much-needed local specialist by and for Domestic Abuse service for Deaf people.”

More information about the consultation event on Wednesday 18 January 2023 here.

Who are we?

SignHealth is a Deaf-led charity working for a future where there are no barriers to good health and well-being for all Deaf people. Our passionate team offers specialist services in British Sign Language, including psychological therapy, domestic abuse support and social care. We have media-trained Deaf people who use British Sign Language to communicate, as well as access to qualified BSL interpreters, ready to be interviewed to support this statement.

Manchester Deaf Centre

Established in 1846, Manchester Deaf Centre is the largest organisation to provide support to the local Deaf community and beyond in Greater Manchester, hosting a variety of services and groups that offer support, learning and training opportunities, social events and much more.

For more information about Manchester Deaf Centre, visit manchesterdeafcentre.com and follow us on social media.

Pankhurst Trust

Formed in 2014 after Pankhurst Trust and Manchester Women’s Aid merged, the charity became the largest specialist provider of domestic abuse services in Greater Manchester promoting the equality of women and providing vital support services to those suffering from domestic violence and abuse.  For more information about Pankhurst Trust: Manchester Women’s Aid, please visit pankhursttrust.org