Through innovative and positive approaches, the Stella Project works to promote, at practice and policy level, the development of inclusive, integrated service provision for survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence who experience problematic substance use. The Stella Project supports drug, alcohol and domestic violence agencies to effect sustained change in service delivery and outcomes. At a strategic level, the project works to influence and support policy development with the view of catalysing change on the ground. Underlying the project’s approach is the belief that where domestic violence and substance use overlap, interventions undertaken in partnership across the sectors will improve the safety of clients and prevent ineffective repeat interventions.
The Stella Project is a joint initiative between the Greater London Domestic Violence Project (GLDVP) and the Greater London Alcohol and Drug Alliance (GLADA). GLADA, established by the Mayor of London in 2002, is a strategic network of organisations and agencies concerned with the problems caused by drugs and alcohol in London. Through both our working and steering group members we represent and consult with key stakeholders in both the domestic violence and substance misuse sectors.
The Stella Project works firmly from the perspective that substance misuse does not cause domestic violence. Drug or alcohol use should never be accepted as an excuse for violent or abusive behaviour and neither should women’s substance use be used to justify their experiences of violence.
The aims of the Stella Project are:
To increase safe choices for women and children experiencing domestic violence by raising awareness and standards within existing substance misuse services and domestic violence projects in London
To hold perpetrators accountable for their behaviour by raising awareness and standards within service providers in London.
What can the Stella Project provide for your service?
A comprehensive training programme including basic awareness training on domestic violence and substance use, stretegic managers training and working with domestic violence perpetrators in drug/alcohol treatment
Development of bespoke training packages to cater to the needs of individual agencies
Events, conferences and networking opportunities for drug, alcohol and domestic violence workers
A toolkit for practitioners who work with clients experiencing domestic violence and substance use.
Information and support on how to work with clients experiencing domestic violence and substance use
Minimum standards for work across the domestic violence and drug and alcohol sectors
Contacts to local services
Examples of innovative and effective practice
How the Stella Project began
The Stella Project was launched in December 2002 at a seminar organised to bring together the drug, alcohol and domestic violence sectors. The aim was to begin a dialogue between domestic violence and drug and alcohol agencies, and collect data on the knowledge and needs of front line workers working with these issues. Finally it wanted to collate suggestions on possible ways to improve practice. One of the recommendations that emerged from this launch seminar was the need for guidance, models of good practice and training to support both sectors in developing their services. The Stella Project hopes to continue to support both sectors through training, events and consultancy to assist in the development of good practice procedures and policies.