The Open Justice Centre’s collaboration with the Support Through Court charity on a free open online resource for learners, themed around domestic abuse, has been highlighted in Parliament.
Its timely launch in April coincided with the rapid rise in numbers of people in domestic abuse situations seeking help during the UK lockdown due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Support Through Court (previously known as the Personal Support Unit, or PSU) helps members of the public who are facing court alone to navigate our complex civil justice systems. The service is delivered by more than 750 trained volunteers, some of which are OU Law students. The Open Justice Centre co-produced the digital course to train these volunteers to work with both survivors and alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse.
This work was raised by Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt during oral questions to the Justice Secretary Robert Buckland MP in the House of Commons on Tuesday (14 July) morning. It was referenced together with that of the Milton Keynes-based charity MK Act which offers domestic violence support.
Mr Buckland responded by saying:
I am delighted to hear of the excellent work done by those organisations in Milton Keynes ……… I am aware of the collaborative work done between The Open University and Support Through Court. That work was funded, in part, by a Ministry of Justice grant.Robert Buckland MP
The course provides useful learning for those working or volunteering in organisations dealing with domestic abuse issues. It has been made available through OpenLearn Create, is totally free of charge and follows other successful Open Justice Centre collaborations with AdviceUK and the United Nations. Learners can enrol on the online course at any time and work at their own pace.