We have friendly, non-judgemental staff, based in the Community Services Team, who are experienced in giving information and assistance over the telephone to women, third party advocates and professionals working with women who are experiencing or have experienced abuse and are in crisis.
Our staff are available to give information regarding BWA services, options for what steps to take in crisis situations, safety planning, options for practical, legal and risk reducing measures and provision of information on other specialist services across the district and beyond.
Support for women who are currently with abusive partners
Recognising abuse is an important step in the client journey and our workers offer clients a safe space to talk about their experiences, current situation, and look at all possible options - where the client goes from there is up to them.
Clients make the decision on what support they want based on their own needs and choices. Staff can support clients around immediate safety and risk, short, medium and long term planning, this can include choosing to leave and doing so safely. Support can be emotional and practical.
Support for women who have experienced recent or historical abuse and who may need help moving on
For many women who have been the victims of domestic abuse, the impact can be long lasting. We understand that just because they have left the abuse, this doesn’t mean that the abuse or its impact has stopped. This support gives the woman a safe space to talk through her experiences and concerns and agree a plan of support which will help her to recover and move on. This could be both practical and emotional support.
Weekly Support Group
Our Outreach Team also offer a weekly support group drop-in, offering a safe space to talk, explore options, feelings, meet other survivors and share experiences and take part in creative recovery work. The sessions focus on supporting emotional well-being, improving self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
The Freedom Programme course is free and provides a supportive, safe and friendly environment to explore domestic abuse. It helps to examine the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help women who attend to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess.
The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed (for those women who attend the group and feel that their child/ren may need support they can be referred into our specialist child and young people’s support service, DARE2).
This is delivered by both our Outreach and Resettlement Teams, in partnership with Early Help.
This part of our service is for women who have moved out of a refuge or other temporary accommodation and into their own homes or for those women who have recently separated from an abusive partner and may need support to stay in their own home and live safely and independently.
When a woman leaves an abusive relationship this can be a very difficult, lonely and often a very dangerous time. For some women, leaving means they have lost their identity, status, family, community support networks, financial security, homes, hopes and dreams. They are faced with dangerous and stressful choices about where they will live, how to keep themselves and their children safe, and how they will make ends meet while they try to set up a life again. We also know that just because a woman has left the abuse, this doesn’t always mean that the abuse or its impact has stopped.
By offering both practical and emotional support we aim to help clients ‘rebuild’ their lives, live safely and happily, to help re-integrate them and their family into their local community.
Monthly Advice & Support Drop In
Our staff work in partnership with the Together Women Project to deliver a monthly information and advice drop-in, offering practical advice and help on issues affecting women who are in or have been in an abusive relationship.
Training to other Professionals
We work in partnership with the BMDC’s Workforce Development Team to deliver Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence Training to other professionals to raise awareness of these important issues.
Support for Children Under 5yrs old and their Mums
This part of our service offers support to mums who have children under 5yrs old. This support work is done in different ways, but generally we will work closely with mum to support and develop her parenting skills, explore positive ways of managing any problems or issues that she feels she needs help with and by increasing her knowledge of her child’s development and needs.
We also work closely with Early Help Family Hub’s and other local services to help mums access services offered, that may help to build confidence, increase social skills, develop parent/child bonding and relationships and help to make the family part of their local community.
Support for Children aged 5-10yrs old
We work with children aged 5-10yrs old offering one to one support sessions. These sessions will usually be held in a school setting. The method’s used with this age range vary according to the child’s needs and level of understanding, generally at this age, we would look at exploring and recognising feelings and behaviours. The aim of this would be to address any behavioural problems or concerns and to help build resilience, self-esteem and confidence.
Children are given a safe space to talk through their worries, concerns and experiences and explore issues affecting them. We would then work to address these to help the child to move on from these experiences and put strategies in place to help them feel safe.
At this age is also usual for us to offer support to mum to help her to understand how her child is feeling and to offer advice, support and guidance that will help her to support her child.
Support for Young People aged 11-19yrs old
This part of our DARE2 service offers a safe space for young people to talk about their experiences and any concerns or worries they may have. We recognise that most young people of this age can feel that they have a lot going on and although our support is specialist domestic abuse, we know that this is not a standalone issue, therefore we like to look at the bigger picture when offering support, so support at this age can include help with other things like:
or any other issue or problem they may need help with.
This age group can be challenging to work with however we use a variety of methods and techniques that help the young person to understand what has happened/is happening. By giving them a safe space to talk openly and explore their feelings we can help build resilience, self-esteem and confidence, improve relationships and give them hope for a brighter and more positive future.
The DARE2 team also offer the Freedom for Children Programme which is a recovery programme to help children and young people to understand more about domestic abuse and help them to move on from the impact of this.
DARE2 offer recovery work to help children, young people and the family unit to heal and move on but we are also committed to help break the cycle of abuse. With this in mind we work hard to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage informal education that will help young people to stay safe and make healthy, informed choices.
We also offer work that will help parents and schools to support their young people too. This work is done in a variety of ways through specially developed and age appropriate programmes that address key issues such as:
We deliver this work to:
We are also advocates of the Family Planning Associations ‘Speakeasy’ programme, which is aimed at mums with children aged 2-16 and covers all of the above topics and encourages mums to start talking to and educating their children at the earliest age possible! Speakeasy encourages ‘normalising’ talking about what can be difficult and sensitive issues and helps to keep children and young safe from an early age!
For more information about Speakeasy please click here.
We also co-deliver the Through the Eyes of a Child DA Training to professionals in partnership with the BMDC Workforce Development Team (please click here for more details).