Sunflower Centre

Sunflower Centre is a partnership-funded service that works closely with Voice to provide non-judgemental specialist support to victims of domestic abuse.

Through our assessments, the Sunflower Centre aims to identity those most at risk of harm and plans ways to help keep them safe.

Based at Riverside House in Northampton, the Centre supports people across the county using a number of safe and flexible outreach bases.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you don’t have to suffer alone. Northamptonshire Sunflower Centre can provide you with advice and support to enable you to achieve safety.

If someone you know is suffering abuse, encourage them to access support, now:

Call: 01604 888211

Email: SunflowerCentre@northants.pnn.police.uk

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

How can the Sunflower Centre help?

Northamptonshire Sunflower Centre provides free, confidential advice and support across:

  • crisis intervention, risk assessment and individual safety planning to help keep you and your family safe;
  • advice and support on civil and criminal court proceedings;
  • signposting to other services such as crime prevention, immigration advice, legal advice, group work and counsellors;
  • advocacy with other agencies on your behalf; and
  • the development of an individual support plan to help meet your safety and wellbeing needs.

The centre employs qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s) who have specialist knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse, including the effects it has on individuals, their family, the local community and society as a whole.

IDVA’s are trained in risk management and safety planning and have a wide understanding of the support services, both locally and nationally, which can help keep you safe.

For more information about domestic abuse, click here.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Northamptonshire Sunflower Centre recognises the ACPO definition of domestic abuse, which states that domestic abuse, is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is defined as:

“a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.”

Coercive behaviour is defined as:

“an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group”

What happens once I access support?

We understand the importance of recognising your needs and valuing your input to both the risk assessment and safety planning of your case. We will listen to you and value your opinions.

Within our initial assessment we will complete a risk assessment with you. This will guide our IDVA’s to offer you the most appropriate advice and course of action to ensure that you are safe. Following completion of the risk assessment, our IDVA’s could:

  • develop an individual safety plan for you and your family;
  • refer you to a multi-agency meeting to help manage your safety. The IDVA will represent you and your needs at this meeting;
  • liaise with other agencies to ensure your safety;
  • help you to understand the impact of domestic abuse on you and those indirectly affected; and
  • provide support through the criminal justice system.

Throughout this process we aim to empower you to make decisions, which can change your life for the better.

How can I access support?

Our IDVAs are based within all of the districts and boroughs of Northamptonshire. This means we can offer you an appointment somewhere that is safe and convenient for you. We can meet at children’s centres, doctors’ surgeries, police stations, council buildings and many other safe locations, including our head office in Northampton if you prefer.

If possible, we’d ask that you contact us to arrange an appointment so we can  ensure our dedicated staff are on hand to support you.

Professionals will need to complete a MARAC form before signposting to Sunflower Centre. For further information please contact us on the details above.