Make the FIRST step to stop violence Reality FIRST Domestic violence leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week in England and Wales. The creation of a safe haven will help to give those most at risk a first point of contact, in order to protect them from being the victim of such a statistic. Making a FIRST step to end domestic and gender based violence Indeed, the main purpose of the EU FIRST project that the AIRE Centre is a partner of is to help stop and prevent domestic and gender based violence by developing capacity building for first points of contact for victims of domestic and gender based violence. The FIRST Network project brings together organisations in four EU countries, including the UK, such as Centre ROSA (Croatia), the ISA Institute (Slovakia) and Centre Dinamika (Bulgaria). This project will enable the AIRE Centre to provide free training in the UK to various domestic actors working with potential victims of domestic and gender-based violence at the end of April 2017. The training sessions offered will be conducted through an in person ‘train-the-trainer’ workshop and an e-toolbox, which will be available online to all organisations participating in the network. The FIRST training sessions in the UK The FIRST training sessions aim to give advice, answers and guidelines for specific common situations, presenting participants with a certificate of completion at the end of the training. Beneficiaries of the FIRST project will include decision makers, students and professionals such as medical workers, teachers etc. The aim of the training sessions is to equip all participating organisations to become a FIRST point of contact themselves for victims of domestic and gender based violence. The FIRST Awareness Raising week The project activities will culminate in an awareness-raising week in October 2017, in time for the International Day of Non-Violence on 2nd of October, during which all partner organizations and points of contact will be invited to share widely their experiences, knowledge and expertise to raise awareness about domestic and gender based violence and the FIRST project. Coordinating the FIRST actions In advance of the training sessions, the FIRST project partners met up in Ruse Bulgaria on the 6th and 7th of February 2017 to discuss the current legislative and social status quo of domestic and gender based violence in their respective countries and the progress of their work. The meeting was opened by Mrs. Deana Dimova, from Centre Dinamikа, Ruse and was co-chaired by Mateja Stirn and Maja Minič from ISA Institute, Slovenia. The partners discussed, inter alia, the progress of the project on a national level for each of the countries, shared key information and observations relating to the different workstreams undertaken as part of the project, as well as exchanged recommendations for aspects of the project that may require future attention. Furthermore, invaluable interdisciplinary expertise was exchanged on domestic and gender based violence, mutually benefiting all four partner-countries. Get involved Find more about what the FIRST Project can do for your organisation, please click here. You can also follow the FIRST Project facebook page to receive more updates here. If your organisation would like to receive free training on how to be a safe point for victims of domestic and gender based violence then please get in touch with Ralitsa Peykova at [email protected].