top of page

Breathe Free

Project Overview

Breathe Free is a 20-week course for women aged 16 and above who’ve experienced domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and complex trauma. The course is co-delivered with a recent Breathe Free course graduate, a woman with lived experience of DVA.


The course has been developed with a trauma-informed approach, which is delivered in three ‘blocks’.

The first block is the stabilisation sessions and focus on well-being, increasing resilience, building support networks and creativity for self-care.

The second block focuses on understanding all forms and complexities of DVA and its impact on women.

The final block is future planning and moving on from DVA.


From the previous Breathe Free courses, we know that many women don’t leave an abusive relationship because they cannot afford financially to do so. We asked women if they would have left their abusive relationship sooner if they had the money to do so. All said yes.

“If you’re more independent, you’re less likely to get into that situation again.”

“It’s about trying to break that cycle and independence and employment is a massive part.”


For this reason, we have increased our focus on helping women engage in training with support of High Speed Training and Smart Works and gain paid work and independence. This increases their confidence and removes barriers to leaving an abusive relationship and reduces the chance of reconciliation.


At the end of the course, women can decide to become a volunteer; roles include developing resources, devising social media campaigns, and delivering training to social work students. All of this allows them to share their knowledge, build their confidence and experiences, and add to their CV.


Women will also be invited to apply for the role of co-facilitator in the next cohort of Breathe Free. They can be a paid sessional worker who will receive training and support while they co-deliver the next Breathe Free course for approximately 6 months.

Lottery Community Fund

Funded By

Project Outcomes

By the end of the course, women will:

  • Develop coping strategies that allow them to better manage difficult emotions such as anxiety and depression

  • Develop coping strategies to better manage stressful situations

  • Increase their knowledge about the impact of abuse, both on women and on children

  • Be able to identify the early warning signs of abuse

  • Be able to identify their own needs, and use self-care techniques learnt throughout the course

  • Have access to employment opportunities, training, and support

Project Offer

Breathe Free offers:

  • Support with transport to and from group

  • Creche facilities for pre-school infants and children

  • Refreshments

Make A Referral

For more information about Breathe Free, or to discuss a potential referral please call 0113 276 2851 and ask for Molly.

If you would like to refer yourself, or a woman you are supporting, please complete our online referral form.

Please subscribe below to receive our updates

bottom of page