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Address: West Lothian Council, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF
Telephone: 01506 281055
Fax: n/a
Email: dasat@westlothian.gov.uk
Website: n/a
Who is the service for?: Women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse
Further information:

The Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Team (DASAT) has a versatile and committed team comprising of one manager, two full time children's workers and two full time women's workers, one with a remit to work with women from minority populations, and the other working with women having substance misuse issues. Sessional workers are currently supplementing the team as a result of the Safer Streets initiative. A counsellor from Open Secret has been seconded to the DASAT team with a remit to work with adult survivors of child sexual abuse. All adult support workers are involved in supporting victims of recent sexual violence.

Working With Children and Young People:  Services to children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse are delivered in a range of ways to meet their individual needs - this can include both individual support and group work programmes.
Individual support to children and young people is tailored to suit their age, ability, awareness and individual needs and circumstances. It is available to children and young people in the refuge or in the community. It generally involves safety planning and looking at feelings and emotions, anger and aggression and other relevant topics and can use mediums such as art, games and other opportunities according to each individual child and his or her preferences.
Group work is targeted at 5 to 7 year olds, 7 to 9 year olds and 9 to 11 year olds. The programmes includes feelings/emotions, anger/aggression, safety and other topics.
Generally, when children are 3 years or less, support to the mother/main carer is considered to benefit the child in a more sustainable way than just individualised attention to the child. This can include working with the mother on play, routines, safety, emotional security and other factors.

Schools Work - Preventative Education Programme:  In recognition of the importance of effecting culture change among children and young people on the issue of domestic abuse, the DASAT and Education Services have worked with key partner agencies to deliver a preventative education programme and/or awareness raising sessions to secondary schools within West Lothian. It is envisaged that this work will be piloted in some primary schools in the near future.

Working with Women:  The DASAT team has specialised staff to provide support to all women experiencing domestic abuse. Women's workers provide a range of services including:

  • Safety planning

  • Emotional support

  • Advice

  • Advocacy

  • Information and contacts for other services

Safer Street Initiative:  The DASAT, in partnership with Lothian and Borders Police and Victim Support, implemented a pilot scheme in December 2009 aimed at offering early intervention (within 24 hours) following incidents of reported domestic abuse. The pilot was based on the premise that the sooner women are contacted after an incidence of domestic abuse the more likely they are to engage with services. The co-location of DASAT and the Police in the Civic Centre has improved communication and effective working practices. Due to the success and unprecedented demand for this service, the pilot has been extended.

Recent Rape and Sexual Assault Support Service:  A multi agency initiative to support adult victims of recent rape and sexual assault began on 1st December 2010. This support service will complement and work in tandem with Victim Support and the Federal Unit. Federal is a team of dedicated police officers, based in West Lothian, who investigate crimes of sexual violence.

Open Secret:  The DASAT team includes a counsellor seconded from Open Secret. The worker offers a service to adult survivors of child sexual abuse and, more recently, this service has been opened up to adult survivors of domestic abuse. Surgeries are held throughout West Lothian.

Art Therapy Group:  The Open Secret counsellor facilitates this group which meets every Tuesday in the Howden Park Centre in Livingston and is open to adult survivors of abuse. This offers survivors the opportunity to engage in a specialised therapeutic service.

Training:  The team offers training on issues surrounding abuse to any agency. DASAT continues to have a key role in the delivery of Routine Enquiry Training to NHS staff with a particular focus on midwives, mental health professionals and those staff dealing with substance misuse. Two team members are currently trainers with LVAWTC and provide training on domestic abuse to workers from a variety of agencies on a regular basis.

If you are interested in any of the above services please contact Diane Stott on 01506 281055 or email susan.lawson@westlothian.gov.uk

Useful telephone numbers

Victim Support  -  01506 635050
Domestic Abuse Helpline  -  0800 027 1234
Childline  -  0800 1111
Shakti Women's Aid  -  0131 475 2399
Family Mediation Lothian  -  0131 226 4507
Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Assault Centre  -  0131 556 9437
SCET (West Lothian Social Work's emergency out of hours service)  -  01506 281028
West Lothian Council Housing  -  01506 775000
Breathing Space  -  0800 83 85 87 - lines open Monday-Thursday (6pm-2am), weekend Friday 6pm to Monday 6am.
Rape Crisis Helpline  -  08088 01 03 02 - lines open 7 days, 6pm - midnight