Domestic Abuse Navigators, South London and Hackney
The Domestic Abuse Navigators are co-located within St Mungo’s ‘women’s safe’ accommodation across South London and Hackney.
This service supports women who have historic or current experience of domestic abuse and are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. At least two thirds of the clients accessing this service experience severe and multiple disadvantage.
Building trust and relationships
Domestic abuse survivors experiencing multiple disadvantage often have to manage their own safety whilst navigating complex systems, encountering gaps between their needs and service offers. This service bridges this gap by providing personalised, continuous support to survivors as they move through accommodation pathways. Each Navigator is a single point of contact for their clients and the services working with their clients. They work to gradually build meaningful, trusting relationships with their clients, providing support around domestic abuse and other matters that may be barriers to their recovery.
After an incident or disclosure of domestic abuse, the Navigator will support clients with a primary focus on immediate safety. They review risk to the client and manage referrals of high risk clients to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) where appropriate. The Navigators support referrals to specialist agencies, and create plans with the client to address support needs and decrease risk of re-victimisation.
Engaging with support
The Navigators connect to and coordinate with multiple services that are involved in the client’s support. This means working with local agencies such as substance misuse services, probation officers, psychologists, and health services. They can share information between services to find the best way to support the client and keep them engaged in services.
Clients can experience high levels of anxiety when moving between accommodation services, because they might need to start fresh with assessments, building relationships with new lead workers and getting to know a new area. Transitions between services are also a time of increased risk. The Navigators co-produce person centred move-on plans, considering each individual’s barriers and strengths. They ensure clients maintain their support network as they move and can support them while they adapt to their new circumstances.