Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap


The Critical Impact of Domestic Abuse Support
Kira Moxon-Lumb, Acting Group Director of Operations at Inspire North

I have worked for the Inspire North Group for almost 10 years. I started out in the Foundation Scarborough Domestic Abuse Service and then moved into the Scarborough Young People service. After I became a leader in Scarborough, I moved to manage a Domestic Abuse refuge. Since December 2022 I have served as the Director of Operations, alongside this role, I am the Domestic Abuse & Safeguarding Lead.

My experience in the domestic abuse field has empowered me to champion our commitment to addressing domestic abuse and to disseminate this knowledge throughout the organisation. I have established an active Domestic Abuse Forum where we discuss cases and share best practices.

Working in the field of domestic abuse support was one of the most challenging yet profoundly impactful experiences of my career. As a Domestic Abuse Support Worker and later as the manager of a 12-bed refuge in the Northeast for women and children, I witnessed firsthand the harrowing effects of domestic abuse and the vital importance of our work.

Domestic abuse is a widespread issue that affects individuals across all demographics, and its impact on children is particularly devastating. Children exposed to domestic abuse often suffer from long-term emotional, psychological, and sometimes physical consequences. These effects can hinder their development, affect their academic performance, and lead to difficulties in forming healthy relationships later in life. Our role was to provide a safe place. Support for children is crucial in helping them overcome the trauma and build a brighter future.

I found supporting mothers who have experienced domestic abuse presented a significant challenge due to the complex and sensitive nature of their circumstances. It is imperative to approach these situations with the utmost care, particularly when children are involved.

One of the primary difficulties in supporting mothers lies in addressing the psychological and emotional trauma that both the mother and her children may have endured. Domestic abuse often leaves deep scars that can manifest in many ways, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Providing effective support requires a comprehensive understanding of these issues and the ability to offer appropriate mental health resources.

When interacting with the children, extreme caution is necessary. Children exposed to domestic abuse may have a fragile sense of security and can be highly sensitive to discussions about their experiences. It is crucial to create a safe and non-threatening environment for them. Conversations should be age-appropriate and conducted in a manner that reassures the children, avoiding any language that could inadvertently cause additional stress or confusion.

Confidentiality and trust are paramount for both mother and child. Both the mother and her children need to feel that their privacy is respected and that they are in a secure setting where they can express their feelings without fear of judgement or repercussions. This trust forms the foundation of effective support and enables the healing process to begin.

Work with both women and men is equally critical. Providing support, whether through crisis intervention, counselling, or safe accommodation, is essential in helping victims of domestic abuse regain control of their lives. The journey from victim to survivor (we understand these terms are subjective and individuals may or may not choose to refer to themselves as such) is fraught with challenges, and continuous specialist support plays a pivotal role in this transformation.

When I managed the refuge, it presented its own set of difficulties. Balancing the immediate needs of residents with the long-term goal of fostering independence required resilience, empathy, and unwavering commitment. Every day brought new challenges, from managing the coordination of the refuge to providing emotional support to residents. Often residents had complex needs such as drug and alcohol misuse and mental health issues. However, seeing the positive changes in the lives of those we helped made every struggle worthwhile.

Many of our referrals to the refuge came from other areas so I ensured that we were meeting the needs of our diverse community. For some clients English was not their first language and required language aids to support communication. We used Happy to Translate, various translator apps, language tools such as posters and other visuals. As a team we created a diversity library with a range of books from other cultures to create an inclusive environment and to support our learning and understanding of other places, peoples, and cultures. We also made sure there was an adequate prayer space for those who needed it.

Additionally, my experience on a scrutiny panel evaluating how local police manage domestic abuse callouts highlighted the systemic challenges we face. Ensuring that law enforcement responds effectively and sensitively to domestic abuse is crucial. Our panel aimed to enhance police protocols, ensuring victims receive the protection and support they need from the very first call.

The difficulty of working in this field cannot be overstated. It requires a deep well of compassion, strength, and dedication. Yet, the importance of our work and the positive impact we have on the lives of those affected by domestic abuse make every effort worthwhile.

I am dedicated to promoting our commitment to combating domestic abuse across all operations, ensuring that all our employees recognise the signs and understand the risks associated with it. Through our continued commitment, we strive to create a safer and more supportive environment for those who have experienced domestic abuse, helping them reclaim their lives and look forward to a better future.


Local Support Services:

Our Domestic Abuse Support services offer support to those across North Yorkshire and County Durham.

Positive Choices – North Yorkshire and York
+Choices (Positive Choices) is a Respect Accredited service of Foundation (part of the Inspire North Group) for people who cause harm providing an opportunity to recognise, acknowledge and change abuse behaviour. It also offers access to the Integrated Support Service (ISS) for the ex-partner of the person causing harm. A dedicated Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) will be their first point of contact.

Space to Share- North Yorkshire
Space to Share delivers a children’s psychotherapeutic counselling model of therapy. This model draws upon many theories and uses them to adapt to an individual child’s needs regardless of age or developmental stage. It provides various therapeutic interventions to alleviate the impact of domestic abuse.

Foundation Durham- County Durham
The team provides a mixture of accommodation based, floating and triage support to clients across County Durham. The Domestic Abuse Navigator Service (DAN) provides a responsive integrated support service for clients with complex needs who are fleeing domestic abuse.

Linking Leeds Social Prescribing Service is upskilling all staff from frontline workers to service managers in spotting and responding to domestic abuse in a trauma informed way with specialist inhouse support.

National Helplines:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
A free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247

Respect UK
Respect is a national organisation leading on the development of safe, effective work with people causing harm, male victims, and young people using violence in their close relationships. If you are concerned about your behaviour or think you might be causing harm, you can call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040. It is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are causing harm to their partners and families and is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm. The helpline also takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.