Dedicated Service for Professionals
In this blog, Kate – a Senior Support Worker who has worked at Women’s Aid for more than seventeen years – shares how our dedicated service for professionals helps those supporting survivors of domestic abuse.
We work with you and take into account the different needs that survivors have while responding as quickly as possible in urgent, emergency situations. Direct Services have access to amazing resources for supporting survivors and here are a few ways we’ve been able to share this expertise with professionals:
Mena* had recently left her abuser and been placed temporarily in a hotel with her three children
However she’d been placed in the same area as her abuser and she was so terrified of being found that she didn’t even feel safe to take the kids out for some fresh air.
Her social worker contacted the professional service to find refuge accommodation as they weren’t aware of any services that would take a family with three children, and Mena had no recourse to public funds. Using Routes to Support, a specialist directory of services, the Women’s Aid team were able to start searching straight away for the most recent refuge vacancies.
They also gave Mena’s social worker information on the No Woman Turned Away project and how the local domestic abuse service could help with this referral pathway for women with additional barriers to refuge, in case more support was needed. The social worker said she had been struggling to support Mena but now she had really useful information to help her stay as safe as possible.
Anya* was being monitored constantly
Her husband decided everything she did each day and set up surveillance so he knew where she was and what she was doing at every moment. The only time she was out of his reach were her short sessions with her midwife, Kim*.
Kim knew Anya would only be able to find out what her options were and plan for her safety during their time together. There was a very small window in which she could access support and Kim wanted to be able to provide as much information as possible, especially as Anya was struggling and needed emotional support.
Kim found out about the professional service who would be able to provide bespoke information and ensure she could access specialist resources she wouldn’t otherwise be able to find. The support worker she contacted was able to identify local services and provide a clear breakdown of what was available including ongoing emotional support and advocacy. The support worker made sure to include a range of ways these could be accessed, whether it was in-person support, an online chat, or a helpline, so the survivor could choose the options that would be safest and most accessible while being closely monitored. This meant that Kim could provide Anya with multiple ways to find help without her husband knowing that she had told anyone about the coercive control and abuse he was inflicting.
David*, a police officer, was driving to the house of a woman experiencing domestic abuse to escort her to safety.
The problem was he wasn’t sure where was safe. Laura* was in a high risk situation with her partner having just been arrested and she needed to get out of the area, and fast. She knew she was in danger and she needed to leave the city. But David didn’t know the refuges outside of his local area and he had mere minutes before he arrived.
He quickly contacted our professional service who called him back quickly and discussed the intricacies of Laura’s situation, so they understood her needs more clearly. We completed a refuge search based on this and identified three refuges outside of the areas where Laura would be at-risk. Each of these refuges had notified us they had vacancies that morning and David was able to get in contact to find a space where Laura could finally be safe and access the support she needed.
It’s easy to access specialist support, if you would like to know more about this project, please click here.
*All names have been changed for the safety of survivors and identifying details have been removed or altered.