Aim & Context
Increase the Finnish social and health care and police professionals’ competence in dealing with cases of domestic violence (DV), their awareness of violence against women (VAW), and their knowledge of shelter services and how to direct victims to those services.
Increase the general understanding and awareness among inhabitants in Finland about DV, VAW, shelter services and referral to shelters.
Develop and implement a Training Programme (TP) for social- and health care and police professionals, as well as an Awareness-Raising Campaign (ARC) for the general public to meet the above-mentioned main objectives.
Training programme (TP) Luo luottamusta - Puutu väkivaltaan (Create Trust - Stop the violence) was developed, created, tested, further developed and published. Training programme is online and available for professionals to use free of charge. Dissemination of the TP has also started and so far there are 2 600 registered users (also unregistered users).
The Awareness Raising Campaign (ARC) was planned and the content tested and developed. ARC was implemented mainly via radio spots and digital marketing.
The evaluation and research activities have been implemented and evaluation report published. The results of the project have been disseminated and the dissemination will continue.
Awareness increased among inhabitants in Finland about DV, VAW, shelter services and referral to shelters through campaign activities and dissemination activities.
Two surveys for social and health care professionals and police were conducted. The objective of round I of the survey was to form an idea of received training and training needs related to DV in the pilot organisations and to collect relevant information to the training from professionals and to prepare for round II of the survey and facilitate the evaluation process regarding the impact of participation in EPRAS project.
The objective of survey round II was to gather information on the training and training needs related to DV in the social and health care sector and the police and to assess how participation in EPRAS online training had improved their knowledge and skills related to recognising and intervening in domestic violence and participation in inter-professional cooperation. Feedback from professionals has been encouraging and very good.
Both rounds of the survey produced extensive findings regarding the level of received training on DV, attitudes towards such training and concerning cooperation with other service providers and practices of referring to shelter services. The surveys revealed important points to focus on for the future training policies, development of service procedures, organisational instructions and support from superiors, with particular focus on developing the use of risk assessment and other tools for intervening in DV as well as the need to structure, systematise and create prerequisites for multi-professional cooperation.
The findings of the interviews with the shelter clients indicate that the shelter service being free of charge was a key factor enabling clients to come to the shelter. From the clients’ perspective, the shelter as a service and the actions of the professionals working in it were almost without exception experienced as effective.
Together the three forms of data: 1) survey for health and social care professionals and police, 2) focus group interviews with health and social care professionals and police and 3) interviews with shelter clients offered a versatile picture of critical points and possibilities for good practices in working with DV and developing the online training programme. The critical points lie in information sharing, effective institutional practices, organisation and managerial level commitment, finding common goals, knowledge of different actors’ responsibilities, duties and tasks, as well as mutual respect. Preconditions for preventing and intervening in DV include permanence of the developed operating models, up-to-date materials, and an adequate response to changes in the field of inter-professional work on DV.
EPRAS project reached its target groups and attained the targeted numbers of participants, partly even exceeding the numbers projected in the planning phase.
Professionals have access to a free of charge online training to be able to gain more accurate information about the DV, VAW, and shelters. The professionals completed the training programme have increased their competence in the identification of the context, causes and forms and consequences of DV and VAW. Training increased the professional’s ability to take appropriate action in relevant situations to prevent and to intervene DV and VAW. The professionals knowledge and experience of multi-agency work and support services focusing on DV and VAW has also increased. Professionals knowledge and awareness enhances support for victims.
The Finnish population gained knowledge about shelter services through Awareness Raising Campaign. When inhabitants encounter DV or VAW after the project’s campaign, they have clearer understanding of the shelters, it is easier to seek help from them by themselves or to refer others to seek help from the shelters.