We currently have 3 members of staff who will provide a therapeutic service directly with women either on a 1:1 basis or by means of group support. The aims and objectives of GEWA will be achieved by:
- Offering a crisis service Monday to Thursday from 9.30 until 3.30 and on Fridays from 9.30 until 1.30. Afternoon and early evening appointments are also available by arrangement.
- Practical and emotional support will be offered in the way of re-housing, referral for group or one to one counselling, support and assistance with legal issues
- Providing one-to-one counselling and groups for women affected by gender based violence; including the most excluded groups who face additional barriers in accessing services. This includes women who have addictions, complex PTSD, women from BME communities, lesbian and transgender women and disabled women.
- Supporting women during the child protection process by liaising with statutory services agencies
- Facilitating Therapeutic groups to promote recovery, which is also designed to strengthen social links and a sense of structure and belonging
- Offering therapeutic and practical support on an outreach basis at various locations city wide
- Supporting women through very traumatic experiences, which include court appearances and child protection procedures.
- Legal surgeries provided by a local lawyer every Thursday at GEWA
- Access to holistic therapy sessions by provided by two fully trained practitioners
How we help
The project works on a demand–led basis, where women, children and young people are referred by social work, health, education, police and other voluntary organisations. Service users lived with the effects of gender based violence may also self refer. Initial assessment of each women’s needs are established to gauge levels of risk, safety and well being which in turn determines the care plan the care plan for women. One to one counselling or group work is offered to women, children and young people so that they can begin the process of recovery from the impact of domestic abuse.
GEWA works from a three stage therapeutic model underpinned by theoretical learning from Dr Judith Herman to address long term effects of gender based violence such as: post traumatic stress disorder, as most symptoms and residual effects of domestic abuse are categorised as PTSD. The therapeutic support staff engage with women in the counselling process to assist women with building self-esteem, raise their levels of self confidence, establish healthy routines and empower women to discard the negative thoughts and feelings associated with their experiences of domestic/sexual abuse. This work is undertaken on a one a one to one counselling and therapeutic group work basis. The stage one group promotes safety and well being leading to stage two focused individual work to empower women to integrate the impact of their traumatic experiences in order that they are no longer living in the traumatic events but can live them creating positive goals and outcomes. The overall aim, therefore, is to provide a service which gives women the space and time to recover from effects of gender based violence and go on to live fulfilling and positive lives leading to the possibilities of educational attainment and future employment.
GEWA also understands the complexities of gender based violence and how this can increase the likelihood of addiction to alcohol, drugs (prescription and illicit), self-harm and eating disorders GEWA have staff trained to work with these complex issues helping to reduce the barriers to recovery.
GEWA has five safe space flats to assist families with the difficult transition of leaving the family home. Other obstacles to leaving can be family pets, therefore GEWA do except family pets into the refuge. GEWA provides a key worker system to all families accommodated
GEWA has a needs lead approach to service provision and by talking with service users and referring agencies it became apparent that all women, children and young people ere not in a position to come to GEWA premises. Therefore, we operate an outreach service in various locations city wide.
GEWA also supports women, children and young people through the legal and statutory process of child protection. There have been numerous successful; outcomes such as children no longer being required to be removed from the family home due to the risk of continual subjection to domestic abuse. The names of children placed on the Child Protection Register as a direct result of domestic abuse has been significantly reduced due to GEWA interventions.
Sexual Abuse Service
We work with female survivors of childhood sexual abuse delivering a therapeutic counselling service and raising awareness of the issues and links between domestic and childhood sexual abuse. Our current work and the evaluation of the service has emphasised the need for a therapist to work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as survivors of domestic abuse as research evidence indicates a direct correlation between them. We have found with long term therapeutic intervention a woman can go on to lead a fulfilled life as a result on increased self esteem, lower dependency on drugs/alcohol and a reduction in self-harming behaviour.
The project continues to be committed to raising awareness as much as possible in terms of our knowledge and experience of working with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and sharing our key findings with external organisations. Conferences and events allow us to promote the organisations aims and objectives, and permits the sharing of good practice examples of keeping families safe. In the same vein, GEWA will continue to hold events, be represented on relevant multi agency forums, provide training to partner agencies and build on existing established links with organisations at local and wider geographical locations