The JustUS Project is a partnership project led by Positive Futures and working with Compass Advocacy Network, Informing Choices NI (formerly FPA), Nexus NI, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and Queen’s University Belfast. The project has been working to improve support for people with a learning disability who have experienced sexual violence and abuse.
The project is co-led by 4 adults with a learning disability who act as Project Advocates and are involved in the leadership and delivery of the project.
People with a disability have a voice that must be heard when working for their human rights. This is why I got involved in this project as an advocate!
Following training on learning disability delivered by Positive Futures, Nexus NI created a counselling programme for 18 adults with a learning disability. 11 of these people took part in an evaluation led by Queen’s University. This meant that a researcher from Queen’s asked them questions about how the counselling was helping them. You can read the results of this in the QUB evaluation report.
We delivered a training session for 20 people from the PSNI & PPS to support them to feel more confident when working with someone who has a learning disability. Everyone who took part in the training said they would recommend it!
I deal with people as victims of crime, witnesses and defendants, and this training will help inform how I interact with them and support them to engage with the criminal justice process
There is a huge gap of need for this training across every work area in the PSNI
The JustUS Project has been working to create a screening tool to support first response officers (police officers who come out when a crime has happened) and call handlers (the people who answer phone calls to the police) to check if someone may have a learning disability. This will be tested this year.v
We have made an illustrated easy-read guide that explains criminal justice processes (what happens at the police station and at court) for people with a learning disability. We have also made an animated video that tells people with a learning disability how to report sexual abuse and what support they can get.
The JustUS Project has been working to create a screening tool to support first response officers (police officers who come out when a crime has happened) and call handlers (the people who answer phone calls to the police) to check if someone may have a learning disability. This will be tested this year.