This toolkit has been produced by Solace in collaboration with Dewis Choice.
For over 40 years, Solace have supported women and children in London to be free from violence and abuse. We provide services for rape crisis, young people, refuge, advocacy, therapy and professional training. In 2019, we began the ‘Visible Women’ project, working closely with the Silver Project (established in 2010) to provide specialist Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse support for older survivors in London.
Our casework with older survivors enables us to gather knowledge about their experiences and the professionals, agencies, and communities they have contact with as we develop a targeted approach to working with older survivors. We are working with Dewis Choice, an Initiative based in Wales at the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice at Aberystwyth University. Alongside providing the first co-produced service for survivors of domestic abuse in later life, the team at Dewis Choice are conducting a longitudinal research study with older survivors who volunteer to share their justice-seeking and help-seeking journeys.
This toolkit has been designed to share what we have learned and is an invitation to you as professionals to join us in our journey towards improving outcomes for older survivors across the UK. In this toolkit we use the term survivor, DVSA for Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse and older to mean 55+ years. While anyone may experience DVSA regardless of age, gender or sexuality, the crime statistics and research show that DVSA is gender-based; this means it is commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men. For this reason, you may see us refer to an abuser as male and a victim as female, although we acknowledge this is not the case in every abusive situation. Some parts of the legislation will only apply to England and Wales.
Watch the SSOS Toolkit: Supporting Older Survivors webinar recording here: