The Police and Crime Commissioner and operational police teams work in partnership with local universities to identify and support students who are experiencing, or have been a victim of, domestic abuse or sexual violence.
Funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner has secured the help and expertise of a local domestic abuse charity, Atal y Fro, who will deliver the TALK project with five local universities: Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and University of South Wales.
TALK stands for Tell, Advise, Listen and Keep Safe, and aims to tackle domestic abuse and sexual violence amongst our student population by improving early identification and intervention; increasing reporting by increasing victim confidence and; encouraging prevention. To achieve these objectives, a TALK specialist adviser will deliver awareness raising training to university staff to improve identification of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and provide staff with knowledge of referral pathways if a student discloses domestic abuse or sexual violence.
The TALK specialist advisor is a specific point of contact for all five universities who provides advice, support and referral onto specialist organisations for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, said
“Our student population in South Wales is a unique community. Most are young, many are living away from home for the first time, and often they are vulnerable because they do not have their normal support system of family and friends around them.
“This is why it is so important that students and university staff have access to a specialist, independent adviser who will deliver targeted training and be a dedicated point of referral.”
Ben Lewis Director of Student Support and Wellbeing from Cardiff University, one of the five universities involved, said
“A student’s Tutor or a member of university staff may have the greatest opportunity to identify a change in a student’s behaviour, as a result of them experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence. We are already seeing the benefit of the specialist training our staff have received.
“Having a dedicated, independent adviser that we can refer a student to is invaluable. Working together we can ensure that any student affected receives the very best care and support.”
The TALK project was launched in September 2016 and developed following the success of the IRIS programme with GP Practices (IRIS stands for Identification and Referral to Improve Safety), in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan in November 2014 and in Cwm Taf (Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf) in November 2015.
Assistant Chief Constable Jonathan Drake said
“We have an excellent working relationship with each of the universities in South Wales, with dedicated policing teams working with our student population and university staff.
“This project is an extension of this proactive work and ensures that we are doing all we can to identify, intervene and protect people.”
South Wales Police has dedicated Police Student Liaison Teams who deliver crime prevention advice and support under our USafe campaign.
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