For more than two years, Ruth Edwards MP has been working with J9, the domestic abuse survivor’s campaign to encouraging customer facing organisations like shops, schools and GPs to become safe places for survivors of domestic abuse to speak out and get help.
They have held training sessions across Rushcliffe and beyond.
Ruth and the rest of the J9 team brought the campaign to Parliament in October to raise awareness and encourage more MPs to roll out J9 in their constituencies.
The goal is to expand a network of clearly identifiable J9 safe places across the country where survivors of domestic abuse can access help.
J9 is named after Janine Mundy, who used to sign off her text messages ‘J9’.
A mother of two, she was murdered by her estranged husband whilst he was on police bail.
The J9 campaign was created in her memory.
MPs from all parties and from across the UK, dropped in to listen to Ruth, J9 Trainers Nicky Brindley and Katy Pearson as well as domestic abuse survivor Natasha Saunders talk about the initiative and how they can reproduce it in their own constituencies.
Many of them were even seen wearing J9 lapel badges during PMQs, with Helen Whatley and Fay Jones proudly displaying the logo as they asked former Prime Minister Liz Truss their questions.
Senior MPs from across Parliament dropped into the event, including our new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Speaking at the event, he said:
“Ruth and Nicky have been great champions on this important issue.
“The inspirational J9 trainers show what can be done to support survivors of domestic abuse.
“They should be very proud of the difference they are making and I will certainly be looking at whether my constituency office could become a J9 safe space.”
“Listening to domestic abuse survivors tell their stories is often harrowing.
“I’m really grateful to have the chance to work with J9 to empower communities across Rushcliffe to help survivors in their local area.
“I am really grateful to the many colleagues from all political parties who showed a real interest in reproducing the J9 model in their own constituencies.
“Domestic abuse can affect anyone in all walks of life and statistically it can take up to 50 assaults for a survivor to first seek help.
“We need to encourage people to come forward to accept help sooner and these safe spaces are a key part of this.
“Nicky Brindley has done an amazing job in training people to help survivors of domestic abuse. This wouldn’t be possible without her.”
Nicky Brindley, who has received an MBE in recognition of her work with domestic abuse survivors said
“Today was a really great opportunity to share J9 with Parliamentarians and to follow Ruth in backing it in their constituencies. It was great to see so much interest in how we can support survivors to access safe spaces across the UK. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ruth and her team for such a great event.”
Survivor of domestic abuse and campaigner Natasha Saunders said
“As a survivor of domestic abuse, I understand that J9 is such an important initiative. The opportunity to engage with it and understand the importance of it is not to be missed. As ever I am so grateful to Ruth and Nicky for their tireless work against Domestic Abuse in Rushcliffe and for pushing J9 in our wider society.”
You can find more information about the J9 campaign here: https://www.saferplaces.co.uk/j9-initiative