Domestic and financial abuse is a serious issue here in the UK and we empower women to make informed decisions about how to move forward with their lives.
If you are affected by domestic abuse, you’re not alone. Figures show that one in four women will experience abuse in their lifetime and over a hundred women in the UK are killed as a result each year.
Are you one of those affected?
This issue affects women of all ages, backgrounds and sexualities – as we know only too well that domestic abuse can occur within same sex relationships and affect LGBTQ+ communities too, and we have experience understanding the additional complexities involved.
Remember, abuse and coercive control is not just at the hands of a partner, but can be by anyone exerting control over you – whether it is someone in the home, your wider circle of family or friends and in the workplace.
Those who are isolated with little or no support network are particularly vulnerable – that can be older women without children, or those who speak little to no English or cannot read.
Low self-esteem, low income or dependence on someone for money, childcare or accommodation are also factors that can lead to exploitation and prevent women from leaving cycles of unhealthy relationships. Sometimes it can be linked to sexual trauma too.
Family, religion and cultural expectations may also make you hesitate in coming forward to get help from us, but even if it is just for a chat or for any other support, know that we are always here for you.
At Anawim, we can give you the support you need to become more independent and take control of your life.
Know the signs - these checklists from Victim Support will help you identify if you are affected by abuse or coercive control.
7 early warning signs
- You feel scared when your partner is angry because you can’t predict their behaviour
- You’re feeling a pressure to change who you are or move the relationship further than you want to
- You’re staying in more and seeing less of family and friends to avoid arguments with your partner
- You’re becoming a lot more critical of yourself — thinking you are stupid or overweight/underweight or very lucky to have a partner
- You give up on your own opinions and think your partner is right about everything
- You’re feeling more stressed or worried all the time; you feel nauseous or have bad butterflies
- You’re scared of how your partner will react to a situation
10 signs you are in an unhealthy relationship
- They make threats and do things just to scare you
- They put you down just to make you feel bad when you’re alone or around friends
- They make you do things that you don’t want to do without listening to your needs
- They don’t try to get on with your friends or family
- They hit, slap or push you
- They look through your phone, social media or web history
- They want to know where you are all the time
- They cheat on you or accuse you of cheating on them
- They steal from you or make you buy them things
- They make you have sex when you don’t want to
5 way to help keep you and your children safe if you feel in danger
Keep your phone with you
Set some money aside
Call the police if you are frightened
Leave the house and go to a safe place, such as a neighbour’s home or local hospital
Create a special code word with your friends and family so they recognise when you feel like you are in danger
Ways we can help you move forward with your life
At Anawim, we aim to help you in the long term. We have your best interests at heart and want to make sure you are fully aware of the choices available.
Many women struggle to leave abusive relationships for lots of reasons from love or shame to family pressures, fear of social services becoming involved or of revenge by the abuser. Making the decision to leave an abusive relationship can be difficult but Anawim is here to help you talk through your options.
Our welcoming team, including a specialised Domestic Violence worker, will listen to and support you one step at a time.
This extensive support includes:
- Help with reporting problems to the police and attending court,
- Help to complete assessments and access agencies and services that can help protect you and your children
- Advice on finances, how to be safe and finding a home
- Offering access to counselling
- Help accessing free legal advice
- Being referred to a refuge
Our regular sessions include the Freedom Programme, which helps women identify different types of domestic abuse, including warning signs, and the effects on children, as well as working towards moving forward confidently. This course can help you make sense of what has happened and hear stories from other women so you don’t feel alone.
We also help to boost confidence through workshops on Mindfulness, Healthy Relationships and our Confidence course, which are all designed to improve self-esteem and support women to make steps towards independence.
Then there are the wider opportunities to help you land a new job through training, work experience and volunteering.
How we can make a difference to you
Here are some of the ways that our support helped women experiencing domestic abuse to gain hope for the future.
Of the women we helped with domestic abuse issues in one year:
- 100% were supported to better manage their health and wellbeing including counselling, reducing self-harm and improved mental health
- 95% improved their financial situation through access to benefits, support with budgeting and debt management advice
- 88% made positive progress on their housing needs including support with housing applications, gaining tenancies and moving from sleeping rough into a hostel
- 84% were supported to deal with abuse they suffered including reporting perpetrators to the police, providing them with counselling and safety plans
- 73% gained skills that can help them find work through volunteer placements, courses and work experience
Of the clients I have supported this year, many had housing needs. This included those fleeing abuse to women who needed help to maintain their tenancies in terms of finances or completing housing applications. One woman had been homeless, living in a tent for five years, but within two months of me supporting her she was settled in supported accommodation and managing her tenancy Domestic Violence Caseworker