Self-help group – This is a 6 week course which helps survivors to recognise how the abuse has worked in their relationship, why it took so long to recognise what was happening, and how they can stay safe. It also helps them to work on safety planning and being able to spot potential signs of abuse in future relationships. The group is run on a regular basis at the Hope Centre and information about future groups can be obtained by ringing the helpline number or contacting talktoeve by e-mail.
Life coaching – This is also a 6 week group, and is focused on making plans for the future, setting goals and beginning to think positively. It is very easy to become focused on the abuse, and the difficulties of life, and the lifecoaching group can help to re-focus thinking and helps participants to become more optimistic about the future. Details can be obtained about future groups as with the self help group.
Life skills – The Lifeskills group runs every week during school term time and is aimed at helping people to develop new skills in things like budgeting, cooking, writing CVs, finding re-housing and many other aspects of daily living. It is also a social group which allows women to meet together regularly. We also have pamper days, groups on confidence building, assertiveness and well being. The group also meets at the Hope Centre and details are available by calling the helpline.
It can be daunting to go into a group of women you don’t know. We recognise this and if you want to come and talk to us first we can arrange you for you to meet the course leaders in advance, and you will quickly get to know everyone. We have a lot of fun in the groups, and even where the content is very serious, we have a coffee break in the middle and there will be opportunities to talk to other women, who actually you already have a great deal in common with. You can come and talk as much as you want, or as little as you want. Listening is equally important and you can talk when you feel ready. No-one will put any pressure on you. We hope to see you at a group soon.
Family justice centre – In a perfect world a problem in life would be easily solved by just going to one place and talking to one person and getting a solution. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. Problems are often complex and there is often not a simple straightforward solution. However, having said that, there have to be better ways of dealing with problems than we have at the moment.
Domestic abuse often involves needing advice on safety, legal information and support, police protection or advice, assistance with children, contact and residence issues, housing, debts, alcohol and drug support, mental health assistance, court support and many other sources of help. Finding those in one simple visit to one building has been impossible – until now.
Family Justice Centre South East Staffordshire will be up and running from April 2012. We will have a range of different agencies available in one place and with one aim – to support and assist victims of domestic and sexual abuse. We may not have everyone from every agency here at the same time, but we currently have 20 agencies signed up to being available, either part time or on call during office hours Monday to Friday.
We believe that this is going to be a ground breaking service which will really make a difference. We have studied the centres in America, and the one in Croydon. Croydon opened their centre in 2005, after 5 deaths due to domestic abuse in one year. Since opening there have been no deaths.
There is still an opportunity for agencies to be involved and we would be delighted to hear from anyone wishing to join us in this venture. The centre will be open for all victims, male and female, and we are going to be reporting back on how the centre is developing and the impact it is having. Watch this space for news as it breaks.