Nick Gazzard has been working with Dr Rachel Fenton from the University of Exeter on rolling out a pilot of a programme called Active Bystander Intervention. This was delivered to three separate groups in Torquay and Exeter in conjunction with Devon County Council and Public Health England. Nick was one of the facilitators who delivered the sessions along with Sara Williams from Splitz.

The programme is designed for community members to learn more about domestic abuse, and how they can help combat it by learning skills to intervene as a positive bystander.

When bystanders intervene, for example by signalling their disapproval of a behaviour, the wrongdoer receives this message – and so do other people around them. Active Bystander Communities works with participants in a positive and empowering way to think about scenarios and helpful behaviours which could help make a difference and make the community safer for everyone.

The programme is designed to give anyone the tools to provide emotional and practical support to a friend, relative, colleague, neighbour who may suffer domestic abuse. Giving skills for life. Delivery involved working through scenarios, role plays and ensured optimum benefit for all participants.

Feedback from participants was very positive and will allow the programme to be tweaked for roll out across the wider community.

There is a serious problem in our society and members of the community are part of the solution. Everyone can make a difference and the aim of the programme is to help individuals to do so. Violence and abuse can happen to anyone.

If you are interested in the programme being delivered in your area, please contact