As part of the 16 Days of Activism, Ask Me Community Member and survivor *Faith, shares her experiences of the course and the importance of community engagement.
One afternoon, I saw a course for becoming an Ask Me Ambassador for Welsh Women’s Aid. I read the description of the two day course and instantly knew it would be of interest, I signed up there and then.
Over the two days, I gained so much knowledge on domestic abuse and violence against women, that I instantly related to in my own life over many years; from my childhood through to my teenage years, to more recent times.
I knew this was something I needed to delve into and gain as much knowledge as I could.
Becoming an Ambassador has given me the tools to raise awareness in my community on a frequent basis.
To raise awareness pre-lockdown, I would leave leaflets in my local library, doctor surgery, optician, pharmacy , gym and on public transport. I think this is one of the best ways for people to see the information. Ask Me stickers can be placed onto the back of toilet doors as this is always a private place where survivors can access the information.
Even faced with the current lockdown this year, I have found ways to reach out to the community on a wider scale. being on zoom calls the audiences have been wider- I have had questions from people all over the globe regarding being an Ask Me Ambassador and how our work helps women and children in domestic abuse and violence situations by signposting them.
I have used Cardiff Women’s Aid to support me through things that I didn’t realise were domestic abuse and violence, as my knowledge wasn’t as wide as it is now.
As awful as my experience was, I want to help people recognise that domestic abuse comes in many different forms. Most importantly, the more people who know the signs and red flags, then the more people we can help.
I’m really passionate about raising awareness about this area and believe more needs to be done in every way possible to end domestic abuse and violence towards women and children.
I have made it a regular conversation with people and spread as much awareness as possible as some forms of domestic abuse are not easy to recognise-as I found out personally.
I speak to friends and family about my involvement in becoming an Ask Me Ambassador, it’s one of the best things I’ve done. I’ve gained incredible knowledge that really shocked me, such as the way society treats women in domestic abuse and violence situations. It seems to go unnoticed and is normalised and this should not be the case.
Since becoming an Ambassador, I have sign-posted many friends and acquaintances who were unsure whether their situation was normal or abusive and whether they needed advice and intervention. I know one person who is now free from their perpetrator and others who have gained information and advice from the Live Fear Free helpline.
I would recommend anyone within a circle of women and young children to become an Ambassador, there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned and in numbers we can change society in how we tackle and stop domestic abuse and violence against women.
Hopefully, after 2020 is over with and a calmer 2021 is on its’ way, myself and fellow Ambassadors hope to set up an event in the local area to raise awareness of becoming Ambassador and about how together we can make a change. Throughout my normal daily/weekly life, I have met many other Ambassadors and before lockdown we were planning so much- this is on hold for now but watch this space, nothing stops a determined woman wanting to make a change.
Together we can change.
If you have been affected by violence against women, domestic abuse or sexual violence or you are concerned about someone else, you can contact the Live Fear Free helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support, advice and signposting.
The helpline supports women, men and children of any age, and using language line, helpline workers can communicate in the language that you feel comfortable using. There is specialist support available for all members of the LGBT+ community.
Call: 0808 80 10 800
Text: 07860 077333
If you want to find out more about the Ask Me scheme and how you can get involved, please visit: https://welshwomensaid.org.uk/change-that-lasts/ask-me-project/