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Kelly was referred to Anawim following an arrest for assault. At first she didn’t want to engage with our services, but during her initial assessment she began to open up about her experiences of domestic violence. It was clear that Kelly’s previous trauma had significantly impacted her mental health and affected her crisis response, resulting in the assault.  

~ Research shows that women who experience domestic violence are far more likely to develop mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Women who experience poor mental health are also at higher risk of domestic abuse. ~ 

Through Anawim’s Freedom Programme and Healthy Relationships course, Kelly began to learn about domestic abuse and the huge impact it can have on mental health. Both courses gave her the opportunity to hear from other women who had been through similar things to her, and to share her own story in a safe and supportive space. Kelly began to see how the women’s shared experiences caused some of the same issues across different areas of their lives – this helped her to understand her own behaviour and the reasons she had come to be arrested. She found that talking and listening in these group settings helped her learn to regulate her emotions and deal more positively with the way she felt when challenged. 

~ Anawim offers women the opportunity to talk through traumatic experiences in both group settings and one to one counselling sessions. Course participation is always a choice, helping the women we work with to feel liberated, empowered and in control. ~ 

Alongside the courses, Kelly received one-to-one support in the form of therapeutic interventions and counselling, helping her mental health to improve significantly. With Anawim by her side and a stable support plan in place, Kelly continues to focus on improving her mental health. She is now in a new, healthy relationship which makes her feel safe, cared for and confident. 


Author: Martha W (Volunteer)