ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WITHIN AFRICAN COMMUNITIES IN MEDWAY

This project will raise awareness of domestic violence among the African communities in Medway, work with other service providers (housing, CAB, Shelter etc.) to meet their immediate needs. and also support victims by giving them relevant information about services that will provide them with both emotional and support through the transition of leaving the abusive partner.
We aim to:
• Work in partnership with service providers in mental health and substance use services to improve their ability to support survivors of violence and abuse.
• Develop new work that recognises combinations of disadvantage that go beyond mental health and problematic substance use.
• Influence policy makers in Medway to ensure that public policy solutions around multiple disadvantages reflect the experience of women and girls who have survived violence and abuse
We will do this through
Awareness and advocacy initiatives that will include a variety of programs to improve community response. Presenting information, enlisting community and religious organizations to spread information. This initiative will encourage victims to speak out and seek help
Training for Staff and volunteers and relevant up-to-date information on domestic abuse on our website
Survivor consultation, policy briefings, consultation responses and resources on working with people experiencing mental health problems and/or problematic substance use who are affected by gender-based violence and abuse.
A bi-monthly HACO e-newsletter on violence against women and girls for practitioners working with people affected by multiple disadvantages.
Providing information about services to address physical / emotional trauma by enabling women to leave an abusive relationship if need be.
Providing crisis hotline to call in an emergency. Women who have experienced domestic violence require social support in the forms of one-on-one and group therapy.
Providing adequate service to help women plan for and cope after leaving an abusive relationship because this can be exceedingly difficult, and the multiple disadvantages make it even more difficult.
Empowering victims to protect themselves from harm by providing information that will help women find temporary or permanent shelter, workforce training, and volunteering opportunities and legal advocacy.
Effecting policy work to embed the voices and views of people affected by multiple disadvantages and gender-based violence at a local level.
Working with local mental health organisations in Medway to improve mental health responses to domestic and sexual violence.
Improving access to housing for women affected by multiple disadvantages who are experiencing housing issues.
Developing an internal policy on partner notification of HIV status for clients in abusive relationship, 30% HIV positive women being abused started at the point of disclosing their status to their partners.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviours that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Should I report Domestic Violence?
Whether you’re a victim of domestic violence or merely an observer, you should report domestic violence the moment the first punch is thrown. Call 911 immediately and tell the operator every detail you can about the abuser, the situation, and the violent acts performed, including whether or not a weapon was involved.

How to report Domestic Violence
https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/domestic-violence/how-to-report-domestic-violence-domestic-abuse-and-hotlines

Domestic abuse: how to get help
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help

For more information on this service call us on 01634 844044 0r E-mail info@healthaction.co.uk
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Wanted – help with survey on long-term use of prescription medicines

Adults in the UK who use antiretroviral prescription medicines for their long-term condition are being invited to take part in an anonymous on-line survey which is attempting to find out day-to-day experiences of medication use.
The questionnaire is being run by four final year students on an MPharm course at the Medway School of Pharmacy, which is part of the Universities of Greenwich and Kent in Medway.
The findings will support the Medicines Optimisation agenda developed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and endorsed by NHS England. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society initiative is supporting an NHS call for optimised use of medicines in order to improve people’s experiences of care.
The survey should only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete and it is being supervised by Dr Barbra Katusiime and Dr Rebecca Cassidy at the University of Kent.
You can find a link to the survey here:

https://survey.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5i3kfpm6Qfk4GjPHowdoyoufeelaboutyourmedicines-page-001 (1)


Sexual Health and HIV. Reducing the impact of HIV and sexually transmitted Infections (STI)

As one of the providers of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Service by Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust , we provide HIV prevention, community outreach, testing, support and expert advice one-to-one and in group settings.

Community
Outreach
Meeting people where they live and work is a really effective way of spreading key messages around sexual health, and generating increased demand for and access to services. Using staff members and volunteers with strong local knowledge and a good rapport with people in the community, we are able to make connections, raise awareness and refer to services.
The organisation’s outreach teams start conversations, and disseminates information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. HACO enables safer sex by distributing condoms and we recognise that many people will not be comfortable in the clinical setting so we make available home sampling kits. We work across London to make sure people have the information and materials they need to stay healthy, happy and safe.
Testing Services
When diagnoses can be made early, everyone benefits. Making sure that everyone can access testing services is vitally important.
For an individual early diagnosis means that they can access the treatment and care required to either cure or manage their condition. Receiving treatment as early as possible produces the best health outcomes. When people are aware of their health status, they are able to make informed choices that benefit people in their lives. On the public health level, early diagnosis and access to treatment reduces costs of healthcare in the long-term.
HACO offers free and instant HIV/AIDS tests in the community setting, along with a variety of other screening options as part of the Medway Integrated Sexual Health Services .

Support Groups

Sharing experiences and hearing the journeys of other people living with HIV can be really helpful in allowing an individual to come to terms with their diagnosis and get the most out of life. Support groups provide a confidential and friendly space for individuals to talk through their issues and be supported by their peers, safe in the knowledge that they will not face judgement or embarrassment. Our support groups create this dynamic, while offering expert advice and support.
Within the support group setting, a structured programme of workshops and talks makes available a wide range of topics and information. While we cover a broad array of topics, our workshops are all designed to help individuals to access the opportunities and information they need to live life to the full. In the past we have ran workshops on mindfulness and well-being, housing, and entering education or training


OPENING TIME

We are open on
Mondays 9.30 am to 3 pm
Tuesdays 9.30 am to 12 noon
Wednesdays 9.30 am to 3pm
Thursdays 9.30 am to 3pm
Fridays 9.30 am to 12 noon


Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

prep

What Is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis?

PEP involves taking anti-HIV drugs as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive

For a variety of reasons, people without HIV may engage in unprotected intercourse with a partner they know has HIV or who may have. Such situations include sexual assault, condom failure, the heat of the moment, and finding out a partner is HIV positive after sex.

In such circumstances people may benefit from post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). In order to take PEP people need to know about it, to appreciate the costs and benefits of taking it, and to be able to access it and take it correctly.

To be effective, PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure, before the virus has time to rapidly replicate in your body. PEP consists of 2-3 antiretroviral medications and should be taken for 28 days.

Your doctor will determine what treatment is right for you based on how you were exposed to HIV. The medications have serious side effects that can make it difficult to finish the program.

PEP is not 100% effective; it does not guarantee that someone exposed to HIV will not become infected with HIV

PEP can also be used to treat people who may have been exposed to HIV by accident (e.g., condom breakage) or sexual assault.