Power and Control on the Pitch

Power and Control on the Pitch

This week’s match (England V Columbia) was a masterclass in boundary management, and a great insight into the types of behaviours, born of fear and insecurity, that some will use in order to try to dominate others.

Colombia used harassment, tension building, violence, threatening behaviour, sabotage and intimidation throughout the match, and fair play to England, they did a good job of not letting that get under their skin. We all know that we should form our networks from sound people who help us progress our lives, but the reality is that sometimes you just get trapped on a pitch with people who want to win by bringing you down. It is a truth that some people function by sucking power from those around them with behaviours that drain.  The England team modelled handling that with dignity.

Let’s transpose that to getting trapped in your home with that behaviour. To having to fend off the above tactics of domination each and every day, of having children in the mix, financial pressures, loss of your support network and let’s imagine how hard it is to defend those boundaries.

England players train in sports psychology and Gareth Southgate has learnt the power of the mind on the pitch the hard way. But most people don’t, most people don’t fall in love with an attitude that they are playing a game. Most people fall in love and love the fact that they can become vulnerable, because being vulnerable with the person closest to us should be possible, it should be liberating and that other should be someone to whom we can entrust that vulnerability.

But when you love and the other person has issues with power and domination, when they need your power to feel powerful themselves – your vulnerability becomes their leverage. The digging away at you becomes the way in which your space to breathe, to think, to function, to make decisions becomes eroded.

Football players know that the game can only last so long, that there is always an ending. But what about in the home environment – can the person who wants to control you, to take your power, deal with endings? No, they can’t, not unless it is on their terms. They don’t get to the end of the game and have a cry with frustration. They think ‘how dare you?’ and they up the ante. After sometimes years of ‘partnership’, of being lifted up and shoved down, of trying to make do and make the best of, of becoming more and more trapped by insidious and harmful behaviours the ending can be the worst part and the most unpredictable.

Oasis helps thousands of people affected by abuse in the home each year, and around 60 of those travel through our refuge services, places of safety, places where women and children who are too unsafe, who have found the courage and opportunity to leave and find respite. Every year we are touched by their courage, their determination to say ’No more’, but we never underestimate how hard it has been to make that change, and we honour all of those who aren’t able to yet. Because, if we can see the psychology of this behaviour and how it is used to try to affect outcome in a 90 minute game, then we know that leaving after years of it is a tremendously difficult thing to do.

Unfortunately, abuse in the home goes up 25% when England play, 36% when England lose and 11% the day after. During this match we saw so many mini-incidents that remind us why we do the work we do, and every single one of them has the potential to be understood by people all around the country as representative of what has to be endured by some on a daily basis. Thinking about these behaviours through the lens of this game might help us to spread the message of compassion for those who have to experience the power and control of the pitch as their daily life.

Tags: UK Says No More, Safe Lives, Women’s Aid, Surviving Economic Abuse

#whydoesnthejuststop? #ENGCOL #domesticabuse #saveourrefuge

Oasis Golf Day Raises over £10,000

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The Oasis golf day on Friday 15th June at North Foreland Golf Club has raised over £10,000 for Oasis Domestic Abuse Service.  

A total of 80 players took to the fairways for a shotgun start, following coffee and bacon rolls in the clubhouse, and played 18 holes in the sunshine on North Foreland’s beautiful course. The headline sponsor was Rotary Club of Thanet. 

On course, players were treated to whiskey and champagne, served by event sponsor Artemis Recruitment on the 10th Tee, while a Mini convertible, donated by Barretts Group of Canterbury , advertising auction prize 'Win a Mini for the weekend' was on display on the 18th Tee.  

Taking first place was Trevor Brown's team with a score of 90 points with the Team captained by Jane Pace coming not far behind in 2nd with 88 points. In 3rd place was Ann Gardner's Team with 87 points. Lee Hack hit Nearest the Pin on the 7th hole and Jill Lamerton was Nearest the Line on the 10th. All winners received golfing prizes generously arranged by club professional Darren Parris, presented by Club Captain Stuart Barr and sponsored by Lanes Printers of Broadstairs.  

In the evening, guests were treated to a 2 course meal with live music from Paul Messenger, aka Onelove , which was followed by an entertaining charity auction expertly run by Club Chairman Mike Bastow and Former Chairman Keith Rumblo. All of the funds raised through the auction and raffle were generously matched by Barclays Bank, whose staff also attended, helping to boost the charity pot and raise extra, valuable funds for those affected by Domestic Abuse. 

The event was well-supported by local businesses, 18 of which sponsored tees on the course.  

Speaking on behalf of Headline Sponsor, The Rotary Club of Thanet, Neal Elliott said, "Over the years the Rotary Club has raised considerable funds for Oasis through their annual Boxing Gala which is held in collaboration with the Ramsgate Boxing Club. We were delighted to be the main sponsors of the Oasis Golf Day 2018, which through the tireless work of the organising committee has been a sell-out, and a guaranteed success"

 

Oasis Ambassador Training Event

We recently held a training opportunity for our volunteers who were interested in becoming an Oasis Ambassador, or who were keen to develop their confidence, self-esteem and public speaking skills. The event was hosted by the inimitable Barbara Sturgeon, award winning BBC Radio presenter and journalist.  

Our volunteers were really excited and got stuck in to learning how to use a microphone, how to project their voice, and exercises designed to overcome any shyness they may have had around public speaking. Those that attended stated that they ‘felt really positive’ having completed the training, with one person feeding back that: 'This gave me the confidence to achieve what I want to do, and change people's lives'.  

Our new Oasis Ambassadors will now be supported in their volunteer roles, as they begin to speak at local community events and groups, spreading the Oasis message, and raising awareness of the vital work that we do.  

Interested in becoming an Ambassador? Contact us at volunteer@oasisdaservice.org for further details.  

Oasis Celebrates Wesak!

As part of our ongoing celebrations of different world religions and cultures, we observed Wesak or ‘Buddha Day’ at our Support Group today. Wesak is the celebration of the life, enlightenment and death of Buddha. It is the most important of all Buddhist festivals.

 

Our Peer Mentors led this event, and had been working hard to organise decorations for the day, and to get all of our residents to make paper lanterns to use within the celebration, reflecting traditions from Thailand and Indonesia.

During the support group, we took part in several activities, such as ‘bathing Buddha’ in scented water from wooden bowls. We used this time to reflect on the tradition of purifying our minds and releasing our negative thoughts. We also adapted the tradition of released caged birds, symbolising letting our troubles go free, by blowing bubbles around the room.

Our Support Group took turns to add their own colours to a mandala that was passed around the group, which looked beautiful when it was finished. After this, we sat down to share a vegetarian meal which had been cooked by our Peer Mentors and the Support Group listened to one of our women talking to us about their Buddhist beliefs and practices, to help us all get a greater understanding of the Buddhist principles.

We finished the morning off by having a group meditation practice, led by one of the staff, which encouraged us to focus on compassion and love. This moment of calm and quiet was really popular with the group.

Everyone had a fabulous morning, where we shared a lot of love and laugher, as well as growing in our knowledge about this culture and world belief. One attendee to the group said that ‘this morning felt like I was home, like I was part of a family gathering’.

Our next celebration will be in June, where we will learn more about the Islamic tradition of Eid.

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Blooming Strong

The Oasis Support Group and Margate Women’s Institute worked tirelessly to ensure that our ‘Blooming Strong’ campaign was a resounding success; designed to raise awareness of domestic abuse whilst recognising the emotional resilience and strength of local women.

Between them, the groups made over 150 beautiful flowers which were handed out to women at the International Women’s Day coffee morning at Cliffs, and at The Oasis Shop.

 Celebrating the Blooming Strong women in our lives

Celebrating the Blooming Strong women in our lives

Joderunner

Jodie Nesling has raised over £1,600 (!) by running the London Marathon for Oasis. Read her heartwarming and humorous account of the day below.

The London Marathon

I trained in arctic conditions with a body built for writing and drinking but I ran the London Marathon for charity in searing heat -  it is one of the best things I have ever done and below is a brief account.

THE NIGHT BEFORE

My mum and sister suggest I should ‘carb up’ so order a massive chinese. A reminder of when one my best friend Genevieve lovingly received a KFC bucket after a horrendous labour: both not advisable but well-intentioned. I don’t feel nervous. Fitness trainer Jason Turner who has broken me with kettle bells has been positive and encouraging, I feel I can take on the world...and a chinese.

THE MORNING

I’m sunburnt, emotional and hitting the wall; this is before getting off the train at Stratford. I meet a group of runners on the Jubilee Line. We chat like you never do on the tube: one young woman secured a marathon place through the ballot, she is cheerful and wearing energy gels around her waist like a nightclub shot-girl, she is also wearing a Macmillan sponsorship top. I ask why she is running for a big charity. “My dad died six weeks ago,” she replies and hangs her head so long plaits swing forward. These are the first tears of the day, the first hugs and the first time I think this experience with strangers is a social anomaly that should be celebrated with every fibre of our being.

START

After about a three-mile walk to the starting pen (cheeky swines!) the melee share anticipation, nerves and camaraderie. I make friends with a giant apple and tell him I have lost my tracker. I glance to see if anyone else has. They haven’t, not even the apple. I reach the starting line at 11am conscious my running mate Mo will be at the halfway point. I step over the line undramatically and start to run. I feel good.  This is a piece of piss!

SUN

I am  head-to-toe in black and the sun beats down without respite. There is no breeze and no shade.  I know without checking that this will be the hottest marathon day on record. I can’t cool down. The miles go by and the crowd blare out DnB, hold out banners, cheer my name and high-five as I go past. Somebody manages to get a horse to stand on something and poke its head over a fence. Do I have heat stroke?

FRIENDS

More best friends:  Kate (who chose to spend her birthday supporting me) and John come into view which is amazing considering I have no tracker. It is immense and gives me a great boost especially after a kid turns to his mother and asks why we are running so slowly, to which she responds, “some of the runners have medical conditions” - mine is ‘journalist who ate chinese before the race and is wearing black.’

HALF WAY

Running over Tower Bridge is mesmerising -being part of the bobbing throng of costumes, trainers and sweat at the heart of our beautiful capital is an unforgettable moment... but realising you are only half way is also pretty tough. Docklands follows and is very hard. But again, testament to this race,  it is as if by magic, I bump into a friend. The weird thing is I do not see Kirsty at first but recognise the face on the poster she is holding from Facebook (her friend who tragically died of cancer). I look up and see Kirsty, looking impeccable in a summer dress, I wipe all my sweat over her and carry on, she doesn’t mind.

The crowd cheers at every bend and seeing sagging spirits wills them with absolute love and determination: people from every facet of life screaming their hearts out just because they want you to finish a race. It’s ridiculous. There is comedy:  a man holds a sign that reads ‘shout if you agreed to do this when you were drunk!’ I shout and he instantly responds ‘of course you did Jodie!’

The atmosphere is insane. I can’t get my head around it.

THE WALL

I see  Kate and John again. I am struggling and overheating. A stranger gives me a bottle of water. It is too painful to walk so I keep running, I am exhausted from the heat, my back which gave way before the race, is in agony. I seriously want to give up. Someone offers me a sausage roll (see comments on chinese and KFC.) Three boys give me ice to put on my neck. I want to cry.

SECOND WIND

At mile 21 a remarkable thing happens: the second wind. I have many of these on drinking benders but never running. The utterly brilliant, brilliant, brilliant (yeah it deserves three) running club,  Run Dem Crew are stationed at Whitechapel. They have been there for hours and are partying and shouting names like it is the first five minutes. They are shouting my name. It is immense and then The Proclaimers start to blare out. I think to myself, I will walk 500 miles. I will do that, ok I will…. it carries me. This moment is pivotal, transcendental, second wind, second coming...I am running through it. It isn’t quite ‘runner’s high’ though - I am expecting psychedelia and rainbows with that.

MILE 22

I see my family, they are all hammered outside the Liberty Bell near Tower Hill. I am too tired to stop but it was pure chance. Again. It makes so, so happy but I can’t convey it as I’m broken.

MILE 23

I think it is mile 22 and my heart soars.

MILE 24

The pain in my face is very visible. ““Keep going Jodie, you’re a hero!” Am I? Thank you complete stranger.

THE MALL

I run through, I am finishing the London Marathon and in six hours (which I am pleased with) I am having an out of body experience and I am very confused but I have a medal and I can’t stop looking at it.

AFTERMATH

I have a beer in the pub. I can’t walk as my legs seized up as I sat next to Nelson’s Column after the race. Friends together with a group of complete strangers give me a standing ovation and I have never felt so proud. My mum looks at me like we have won the lottery.

David Bowie was right, you can be a hero….just for one day.

A great big thanks to all who sponsored (some complete strangers, amazing) and supported me on the day (Kate, John, Mum, Kieron, Kirsty, Lou, Rodders, Megan, Linda..etc) Massive thanks to training legend Jason Turner for always being so proud! And Eddie Gadd, Sue Fisher, Jon Stringer and Phil Leader for Joderunner beer.

It has been a privilege to raise money for families torn apart by domestic abuse but I am never doing this again!

Jodie.jpg

Your Fundraising Efforts

Your Fundraising Efforts

We are so fortunate to have a fantastic community who fundraise, volunteer and donate. Below is some of the work that's been done to help keep people in Kent safe. A massive thank you to everyone who has helped.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day on 8th March is an opportunity for us to celebrate the brave women in our community who have had the courage to walk away from abuse into happier futures. This year it coincided with 100 years of women’s suffrage and we would like to thank South Thanet Conservative Association who donated the proceeds of their special event to Oasis, donating more than £1000 to our cause.

We would also like to thank Oasis volunteer Nicki Miles who hosted a fantastic International Women’s Day coffee morning at Cliff’s raising over £400.

Grosvenor Casino Quiz

We have now held two great quiz nights at Grosvenor Casinos with teams of eager masterminds answering questions from Quizmaster Glen Woodward shown here in a photograph with the Fundraising Team.

Each event raised more than £1,000. Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the evening. Huge thanks to Grosvenor Casino Thanet for hosting this fun charity quiz and to Barclays for helping with match funding.

Save the date for the next Quiz 17th October 8pm. Email fundraise@oasisdaservice.org for more details.

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Herne Bay Little Theatre Panto

The Herne Bay Little Theatre invited Oasis to attend their fantastic pantomime in December. Oasis were chosen to be their charity for the week, and a staggering £725 was raised for us! Special thanks to The Playmakers and The Butcher’s Arms Micropub for their donations.  

Bernie's Comedy Night

Bernie’s Chocolate Bar held another stand-up comedy night for Oasis raising £142.

Caroline Buckley

Raised £265.23 from a Christmas gig at The Chapel, Broadstairs. Accompanied by Frances Knight and Colin Smith

Asda Green Token Giving

A Huge Thank You to the customers of Asda Broadstairs who voted for us in Asda Green Token Giving scheme. We are delighted to have received a cheque for £500 from Community Champion Tracey Ballard.

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Hairspray Ramsgate

Thank you to the staff and customers of Hairpsray Ramsgate for raising a fantastic £510 from your Christmas raffle. It was lovely meeting you all, we're really grateful for your support.

St Marks Thursday Fellowship Group

One of our fantastic Oasis Ambassadors gave a short presentation to this group in March, explaining the importance of the work that Oasis do across Thanet and Dover. Our Ambassador was delighted to be handed a donation of £25 which will ensure that we can continue with our vital work.  

Thanet Active Retirement Association

TARA is a club of over 150 active and retired men and women from across the East Kent region of Thanet, who were extremely busy during 2017, organising lots of different activities such as walks and Zumbathons in order to raise money for Oasis, as their nominated charity. They raised an enormous £1312 in total! 

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Toys for Treatment

Heartfelt thanks to David & Rebecca Wilkes from Broadstairs Chiropractic Clinic for organising a Treatment for Toys day and for gathering so much support from the community.

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Art's Cool Leeds vs Margate Scene Swap

Art's Cool and Come Play With Me organised a scene swap gig consisting of 4 bands from Margate and 4 bands from Leeds. Playing in two towns in two days, the proceeds of the Margate event, a fantastic £400 were donated to Oasis!

Sausage Sizzle

Four of our hardy volunteers braved the cold weather to do a ‘Sausage Sizzle’ at Bunnings’ Warehouse Broadstairs, raising £229 for Oasis! 

Big Mouth Chorus

We were lucky enough to attend the BIGMOUTH Chorus Friends and Family Christmas concert at Dreamland which raised an incredible £416 for Oasis.

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From everyone at Oasis, Thank You.

Females Unite

Contemporary Jewellery Designer Esa Evans is celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage with the launch of her ‘Females Unite’ statement necklace and will be donating 20% of all sales to Oasis Domestic Abuse Service.

The necklace, which comes in three colours (gold, rose gold, and silver) is available to buy directly from Esa's website (http://www.esaevans.com/) and is also stocked in our boutique charity shop 'The Oasis Shop' on Northdown Rd, Cliftonville. 

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Esa said, “I’m not too proud to admit having been affected by domestic abuse. As a student I was  living with a very “charming” man whose aggression towards me and my friends was only stopped by getting a court injunction. I’m only too aware of the fear that people live with daily, who are suffering at the hands of abusers, and I’m pleased that maybe our small contributions can make a difference.”

Loukia Michael, Fundraising Manager said, “We are delighted that Esa has chosen to support Oasis with her beautiful necklaces – especially this year as we mark 100 years of women’s suffrage. Domestic abuse damages so many lives and the money raised will help us to reach more people affected by the issue’.

About Esa Evans Contemporary Fashion Jewellery

Esa Evans, founder and designer, draws on the inspiration of art, music and fashion to create desirable jewellery for women to wear every day. From her studio in Whitstable on the Kent coast, Esa collaborates with artists and galleries as well designing her own uplifting jewellery collections.

Using contemporary laser-cutting techniques, Esa transforms stainless steel into polished pieces finished with gold-plating, colourful enamels and delicate etched details.

ESA EVANS jewellery expresses Esa’s belief that accessories have the power to revitalise the way women dress for every day and every occasion.

Expect to see birds and bees, cats and ants, seaweed and shells as well as pineapples and bananas. Honeycomb inspired geometrics make an appearance as well as disco typography, stars and optical illusion stripes.

www.esaevans.com

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Oasis celebrates Easter!

Oasis continue to recognise and celebrate world religions and cultures during 2018, and at today’s Support Group we celebrated Easter!

We spent the morning hunting for Easter Eggs around the building and there were several very pleased children, who managed to find even the best hidden eggs, and put them into their special Easter Baskets! We also had hot cross buns and a delicious home cooked apple pie.

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The Support Group room looked lovely and bright, as we were able to decorate a table centrepiece with decorative eggs. The women and children really enjoyed themselves and the event gave us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the symbolism of the Easter festival.

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We wish you all a very happy Easter!

Domestic Abuse: a gendered issue, but not a binary one

Many years ago, when staff from Oasis would speak at men’s community events, usually things like Rotary Club meetings, we might joke and say, ‘You may have heard that we don’t like men, that’s not true, we love men – we just couldn’t eat a whole one’. A corny, well-used number which could well have some feminists sharply drawing air between their lips in disapproving ways; but, we broke the ice in these men’s groups, we used that humour as a route to then explain the awful consequences of violence and abuse upon women and children. And over the years many of those men have become committed supporters of our work because they understand that this is not about men versus women but about society ensuring it supports those who are harmed.

Back then the only major service we provided was a refuge. It was for women and children then, and so it remains today. Now we offer a range of services that are gender-responsive but not always gender specific. That is an important differentiation. Women’s refuges are, for example, places of safe haven. They allow a woman, with or without children to find space to think, breathe and regroup. Women who have been at significant risk of harm, mentally or physically, and for whom having safe space and community is often pivotal in transforming their lives. Many of those women now work and volunteer with the organisation, or go off to do other wonderful things. Lots of whom just get the chance to start again, sometimes when they are already elderly, they have found the courage to take back control of their lives.

Saturday the 25th November was the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day in which domestic and sexual violence services up and down the country participated. This day allows us to raise awareness of the issues faced by women and girls in this country. The weekend prior to that saw International Men’s Day, which was supported by Kent’s PCC, Matthew Scott, with a conference. Again, an opportunity to raise awareness of issues which affect men. Being aware of issues, celebrating positive outcomes and coming together to think are all incredibly important things, and we were proud to contribute our learning to this event.

I feel struck by the way in which these two dates sit at opposite ends of the week this year. Marking a space between them which we feel it is important to bridge. Part of the ethos of the feminist movement was the drive to have gender as an equal matter, and today we see that, in law at least, it is. These days serve as a visual representation of the importance and value of not allowing binary divisions between man and woman to become something which separates us in our shared humanity. Binary divisions can carry the prospect of arguing about good & bad or right & wrong and this type of black and white thinking is unlikely to feed progress. Domestic abuse is an issue for humankind, it affects girl and boy children equally, and those girl and boy children grow up to be men and women. I do not mean they will grow up to live lives with domestic abuse as a feature, but rather that as a society we must be able to see the dynamics of the issues within which they have grown and will live.

Domestic abuse is a gendered issue, because the likelihood of being victimised in a dangerous relationship is significantly higher for women, and I think that as a sector and within communities we have to be able to deal with that knowledge. This week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its triennial data report on domestic abuse which shows a small decrease in the prevalence of domestic abuse since 2012 and, the proportion of those willing to contact the police having gone up – both of these bode positively for the future. We hope to see reporting increase, especially from hidden victims. But, it still tells us that women are more likely to be killed. Of 454 domestic homicides in the U.K. between 2013-16 70% were the deaths of women. So, we know that women are at a higher risk of death in their intimate relationships. Womanhood becomes a high-risk indicator. It also tells us clearly that men are killed in their intimate relationships. The data also verifies what we know through research into coercion and control. Because it shows us that of the 454 homicides 394 (86.78%) were perpetrated by male suspects (there were 135 male victims, with 40 of these being killed by women).

This data correlates very clearly with the respected work of Evan Stark who defines it thus, ‘The coercive control model was developed to encompass the ongoing and multifaceted nature of the abuse which research shows is experienced by 60% to 80% of victimized women who seek outside assistance….’’ Coercive control is an ongoing pattern of domination in a relationship. The remaining 20-40% of women in the research he cites would have been found to have been experiencing different typologies of abuse. Coercive control is the main concern in our work, it is that type which most often leads to serious harm or death. Evan Stark also finds in his research that in 90% of cases the perpetrator of this specific type of abuse are male, which correlates with the ONS data.

The data also shows us that self-reports of abuse have nearly doubled for teens which I hope means that teenage young people are feeling less inclined to tolerate these behaviours.  Just so you kNOw, a programme run by Oasis, tells us that many young women and men feel unhealthy pressure to have sexual relationships or to behave unacceptably within them. We can see how this is informed by the culture in which they live, and by the more toxic types of femininity and masculinity our culture perpetuates. This for us really evidences the need to work fully, and across society, with all young people to challenge the culture, the thinking and the behaviours which inform and create these problems. In this way perhaps, we will avoid or avert some of the adult issues, which in turn avoids some of the harms to children. Perhaps this is a simplification, but there are multiple opportunities to chip away at such a vast and complex problem.

We aim for a virtuous rather than a vicious circle, and as an organisation, we aim for services that are tailored to those who need them, because it would be wrong to only help the majority. We believe at Oasis that this should be okay to say, that men and women should be happy to acknowledge the stark reality of the data. Because, it is also okay to say that women can harm too, and by no stretch of the imagination are all men harmful.  Remember, we don’t want to pursue binary divisions, every man was once a little boy, and every woman was once a little girl.  Domestic abuse is a problem for a diverse range of people, predominantly women, but also men, and men and women from a range of backgrounds, who have different types of relationships. We would like to know of and support as many of them as possible, for all women and men in our community who find themselves victimised to know that there is no shame, it is not your fault. Because minority or not, the act of abuse in an intimate relationship is wrong.

Your Fundraising Efforts

Your Fundraising Efforts

We are so fortunate to have a fantastic community who fundraise, volunteer and donate to help keep people in Kent safe. Below is some of the work that's been done this autumn. A massive thank you to everyone who has helped.

Member Grants

We were very grateful to receive a donation of £1000 in the form of Community Member Grants from District Councillors Barry Lewis and Karen Constantine to purchase a range of books to help children come to terms with, and understand, the trauma they have suffered because of the abuse they have witnessed or even suffered themselves in the family home.

Fundraising Manager Loukia said, “These resources are much needed. We know that the effects of domestic abuse are devastating and inter-generational and also that they impact on children’s future happiness and educational attainment, and we are very grateful to Barry and Karen for their support”.

Councillor Lewis said, ''I am delighted to support your charity and your important work that you do in Thanet".

 Cllr Barry Lewis and Bernadette Hawkes

Cllr Barry Lewis and Bernadette Hawkes

KM Assault Course:

Well done to Kat Cheesman and her team who took on the KM Assault course this October. They did fantastically well as a team coming 4th overall and managed to raise £200 along the way. Kat said "We've all been suffering the last few days. I don't think I've ever ached so much in my life". Well done Kat and team and thank you!

 Team photo: Kat Cheesman & Team

Team photo: Kat Cheesman & Team

Addington Street Revival Fair

Celebrity hairdresser Marcello Marino teamed up with the Addington Street Revival Fair on Sunday 3rd September. Marcello provided haircuts in exchange for donations while a team of Addington Street Revival Fair volunteers organised a bric a brac stall. The event was a fantastic success and the team raised an impressive £800 for Oasis.

 Marcello, Becky and the Addington Cheque

Marcello, Becky and the Addington Cheque

Cornwallis

Thanks to a generous grant from Cornwallis Lodge of the Freemasons, children at the Refuge have been able to enjoy a number of Summer activities including a sports day and picnic as well as access to several local attractions such as Howletts, Wildwood and swimming sessions. These fun activities are so important to help mend the mother and child bond often damaged following stressful experiences, as well as provide the exercise and fun times that all children deserve.

 Cornwallis Sports Day

Cornwallis Sports Day

Inner Wheel

The Inner Wheel of Margate chose Oasis as their Charity of the Year and donated a fantastic £1,000 towards our work. Thank you for your fantastic support.

 Photo: Chairman Derrick Downs with Susan Midgley of Inner Wheel Margate

Photo: Chairman Derrick Downs with Susan Midgley of Inner Wheel Margate

Serenaders

On Sat 15th July we attended and gave a talk at the Serenaders Ladies Choir charity concert in Palm Bay. Not only was it a really enjoyable evening, but we also received donations from the group totalling £607, for which we are truly grateful.

Our thanks go to the Choir and to organiser Janice Regan and for all their support.

 The Serenaders Ladies Choir charity concert

The Serenaders Ladies Choir charity concert

St Lawrence College

Thank you to the Senior School Pupils at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate for raising a fantastic £929.87 over the course of last year at a number of events celebrating the international nature of the college. Events included a Fashion Show, music and dance performances, raffle and food stalls. The amount raised is a credit to the students' hard work and efforts.

 Fundraiser Dee Murphy & St Lawrence College Students

Fundraiser Dee Murphy & St Lawrence College Students

Boxing Gala

The Rotary Club of Thanet's annual Boxing Gala was another fantastic success raising a whopping £32,251.50. We were delighted to be awarded a donation of £5000 towards our work. Our thanks go to everybody involved in staging this incredible event.

 Rotary Boxing Gala raises monmey for Oasis

Rotary Boxing Gala raises monmey for Oasis

Batchelors Patisserie

A huge thank you goes to the team at Batchelors Patisserie for not only choosing us as their Charity of the Year and fundraising but also donating any unused stock to help feed the families who stay with us. Thank you Batchelors!

 Gillian Turner of Batchelors Patisserie

Gillian Turner of Batchelors Patisserie

Walpole Bay Swimmers

Congratulations to the Walpole Bay Swimmers who took to the waters at Hartsdown Pool in support of Oasis at the annual Rotary Swimathon. Their dedication to Oasis is shown year after year as they fundraise and swim to support our work. This year they had three teams of six swimmers which is an impressive turnout – thank you and well done to you all!

 Photo: Walpole Bay Swimmers take on the Swimathon

Photo: Walpole Bay Swimmers take on the Swimathon

From everyone at Oasis, thank you.

 

Alcohol, Families and Domestic Abuse

Alcohol, Families and Domestic Abuse

The 13th to 17th of November is Alcohol Awareness Week. This year’s campaign is being spearheaded by Alcohol Concern whose focus is ‘Alcohol and Families’. The aim is to start an honest conversation about the impact of alcohol misuse on individuals and their families, challenge stigma and to signpost anyone who needs support towards the help they need.

We thought this would be the perfect time to talk about the ways in which drugs and alcohol use can impact on families who experience domestic violence and to highlight this resource produced by DrugRehab about the links between abuse and substance misuse.

Here are four ways we encounter substance misuse in our work:

1.    Numbing the pain of abuse

People who experience abuse often deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and physical pain. Abuse is also linked to the increased likelihood of miscarriage and stillbirth, and of victims developing lasting health problems, such as mental health disorders, eating disorders and physical health problems such as chronic pain or gastrointestinal disorders.

People have different strategies for coping with the trauma of their experiences. Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy is a route to feel the pain less keenly. This use can create addiction, that often then increases a person’s vulnerability to further abuse.

Services must be aware of these links and remain open and non-judgmental in order to create the best outcomes for our clients, fear of stigma from services can be a major barrier to engagement.

2.    Abuse using drugs or alcohol

Domestic abuse is the habitual use of power and control exerted over someone with whom the perpetrator has a relationship. The abuse can be physical, emotional, financial or sexual. Drugs and alcohol can be an implement of abuse, used to keep the victim vulnerable and dependent.

Substance-involved domestic abuse can include:

  • Introducing partners to substances of abuse
  • Forcing partners to carry, sell or buy drugs
  • Encouraging substance use as a form of control over partners
  • Prostituting partners in exchange for drugs or money
  • Preventing partners from seeking and receiving substance abuse treatment
  • Enabling use and consequently disabling recovery

3.    Association with violent incidents

Research from the University of Bedfordshire found that within intimate relationships where one partner has a problem with alcohol or other drugs, domestic abuse is more likely than not to occur.[1] Research from the American Society of Addiction Medicine also shows that both victims and abusers are 11 times more likely to be involved in domestic violence incidents on days of heavy substance use.

Abusing drugs or alcohol may exacerbate an abuser’s pre-existing violent tendencies and is therefore a major risk factor for domestic violence. However, it is important to note that substance use is not the cause of domestic abuse but that substance use increases the likelihood of a violent incident.

4.    Using the alcohol as an excuse for violence

An abusive person will use excuses and apologies to manipulate the person they are abusing. These excuses will seek to minimise the abuse and lay the blame for their actions elsewhere. Common examples might be to blame childhood experiences, mental illness or the use of substances before an incident.

These excuses claim a lack of control over the abusive tactics used, but abuse is always a choice. Perpetrators are able to control themselves in public, are able to control the way they present themselves and to hide evidence of their abuse.  

Those who engage in domestic violence are responsible for their actions despite any reasoning they use to rationalise their behaviour. Those who perpetrate domestic violence choose to wilfully engage in abusive behaviour, and therefore they are the sole cause of domestic violence.

Finding Help

Drug and Alcohol Support

If you are living in East Kent (Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet) you can contact East Kent Community Drug and Alcohol Service.

They support anyone who has problems with drugs or alcohol. If you are worried about anyone, including yourself, and want to get help, please call 0300 123 1186 or email eastkent@rapt.org.uk.

Domestic Abuse Services

Oasis provides services in Thanet and Dover. You can find out how to make a referral here.

Anyone living in Kent can call Victim Support on 0808 168 9276 to access your local services.

 

[1] Galvani, S. (May 2010), ‘Supporting Families affected by substance use and domestic violence’, The Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care, University of Bedfordshire, ADFAM,p.5

 

Tackling Adolescent to Parent Violence

Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) is a concerning form of interpersonal abuse characterised by a young person using abusive behaviours to gain control over their parent or carer. It is beyond normal rebellious teenage behaviour in that it usually involves the adult being in fear of the young person, and having to order their life around the wishes of the adolescent.

Adolescent to Parent Violence.png

The prevalence of this issue has become increasingly apparent in recent years as more and more practitioners are coming across APV in the families they're working with. A quarter of young people exposed to domestic violence go on to demonstrate harmful behaviour within their own relationships. In 61% of cases the abuse is directed at their mother.[1]

In order to better equip our partners in recognising, understanding and combating this form of abuse, Oasis have teamed up with other domestic abuse charities around Kent to help Kent Safeguarding Children Board develop a training session for professionals which we will be delivering on Kent Children Safeguarding Board's behalf. This half-day session will be available to book through the Kent CPD Online soon.

Project Synergy, a 12 week programme, involves both the parent and child in support aims to tackle this violence. Find out more about it, our other programmes and how to refer here.

[1]http://www.safelives.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Young%20People%20practice%20briefing%20for%20IDVAs%20FINAL.pdf