Women’s Aid highlights mental health needs of domestic abuse survivors 

25th November 2021

  • Women’s Aid launches new online platform for survivors to share experiences of domestic abuse 
  • Platform will raise awareness of devastating impacts of abuse on women’s mental health, as part of charity’s Deserve To Be Heard campaign 
  • To initiate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Women’s Aid asks supporters to visit the platform and make a pledge to #HearHer story

Today Women’s Aid launches a new online survivor platform, as part of its Deserve To Be Heard campaign about the mental health of domestic abuse survivors. The platform will amplify the voice of survivors and raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse on their mental health. Survivors have shared their stories in an array of creative, moving and powerful ways. 


Farah Nazeer, chief executive at Women’s Aid, said:
 

“All too often, women’s voices are dismissed and disregarded. We created this platform as an empowering space for survivors to creatively share their own experiences, in the format they choose. A space to speak out and be heard. 

“All survivors Deserve To Be Heard. We must Hear Her to change perceptions and attitudes towards survivors’ mental health: currently, survivors struggle to access the support they need, due to many barriers, including victim-blaming attitudes and a culture of shame that prevents many women from speaking up about mental health.Everyone has a part to play, and we can start by challenging these attitudes and asking survivors, ‘what has happened to you?’ rather than ’what is wrong with you?’. 

“We must take a stand together against domestic abuse. That is why we are asking you to make a pledge, and say ‘I #HearHer’ too, to encourage government to recognise how domestic abuse affects women’s mental health, and to fund and work with specialist domestic abuse services, including resourcing a range of therapeutic and holistic mental health support. This is urgently needed to support the mental wellbeing of survivors, as well as their long-term healing.”

 

Rashmi*, survivor of Domestic Abuse, said: 

“My poems are a way of expressing the deep trauma that I suffered for 20 years due to domestic abuse. This has had a huge impact on my mental and physical health.  I found there was not and, to this day there still is not, enough support for us who have suffered at the hands of a perpetrator. I hope for the poetry to relay my personal message (my way of healing) and share that I am not alone in this journey. To relay the strong message that Love should not hurt.”  

Visit the website today and #HearHer story: https://deservetobeheard.womensaid.org.uk/  

*Not her real name

 

Contact the Women’s Aid press office at [email protected], 020 7566 2511 / 07517 132 943 

Notes to editors 

  • Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. Since 1974 we have been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic abuse, with survivors at the heart of our work. We are a federation of over 170 organisations which provide just under 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. 
  • Women’s Aid provides expert training, qualifications and consultancy to a range of agencies and professionals working with survivors or commissioning domestic abuse services. Our campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationships and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.
    An estimated 1.6 million women in England and Wales have experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2020 with young women aged 16-24 years continuing to be the age group at most risk (ONS 2020). 
  • If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, go to womensaid.org.uk for support and information, including Live Chat, the Survivors’ Forum, The Survivor’s Handbook and the Domestic Abuse Directory. Live Chat is open from 10 am – 6 pm seven days a week for confidential expert support from specialised support workers. 

© 2021 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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