Turning the Spotlight

Relationships are a necessary part of healthy living, but there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Relationships, from acquaintances to romances, have the potential to enrich our lives and add to our enjoyment of life. However, these same relationships can cause discomfort, and sometimes even cause harm.

Hall Health Centre, University of Washington

Are you in a relationship that’s causing distress or harm?

Are you:

  • Worried about your or your partner’s behaviour?
  • Concerned that you or your partner’s behaviour is abusive?
  • Struggling to communicate?
  • Finding arguments are getting out of control?
  • Feeling that your relationship may not be healthy?

Turning the Spotlight could help

Turning the Spotlight is a service offered by Victim Support Cumbria. We support people who are having problems with their relationships, leading to arguments, an unhealthy relationship, and abuse. We work with both victims and perpetrators of abuse.

Turning the Spotlight is a free, confidential, and non-judgemental service.

We work with couples and individuals, with or without children.

You can refer yourself to Turning the Spotlight, or another agency may refer you to us.

What happens after a referral?

A member of the Victim Support Cumbria team will contact you to discuss the situation and challenges you’re facing.

Each person is given a caseworker, who’ll carry out an initial assessment to make sure the service is right for you.

If Turning the Spotlight is right for you and your situation, the caseworker will provide you with one-to-one support and help you to access our programmes.

Group work sessions

Depending on your situation and needs you could take part in one or more of the following group work sessions:

A twelve session voluntary programme for people who are causing harm. It encourages people to share their behaviours, preventing negative ones coming back. Those taking part can work in a group and/or in one-to-one support sessions.

A seven session course for those in an abusive relationship. I Matter supports the person to understand the direction of change for their partner so they can work together to bring about positive changes. The programme encourages people to share their behaviours, thoughts and feelings. Those taking part can work in a group and/or in one-to-one support sessions.

A four session programme for parents who have successfully completed the Healthy Relationship and I Matter courses. Those taking part will explore how conflict impacts on children and how to avoid it in the future to build a harmonious family life.

Aimed at those who’ve been identified as high-risk/high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse, They Matter offers a series of group work sessions about relationships. Those taking part also have one-to-one sessions where they can discuss progress and any issues they don’t wish to share in group work.

What you’ll gain from Turning the Spotlight

The programmes within Turning the Spotlight can offer:

  • Better communications skills
  • Calmer home life
  • Better understanding of your feelings and how they impact on your behaviour
  • Techniques to help you stop minor disagreements from escalating
  • Empathy – looking at situations from another perspective
  • Self-awareness
  • Personal development

Feedback from Turning the Spotlight participants:

At first I was anxious and uncomfortable but by week three I started opening up and learning. I can honestly say I have enjoyed the course and found it very useful in every day life.

‘I tend to debate more with people rather than getting aggressive and letting things get out of hand. I’ve learnt to allow the other person time to speak and explain how they feel and not getting angry just because I don’t agree.

‘The course was extremely beneficial. It has had a massive impact on my life especially at home and in my relationship’.’

Get in touch

If you’d like further information, please call 0300 303 0157 or email us.


Find out more about our criteria for referrals (PDF).

Download our Turning the Spotlight leaflet (PDF) for clients.