Some of the women from our Breathing Space project are working with Tee Hogan of Teevision to create a film around their experiences. We have two aims for this piece of work, firstly that other women going through domestic abuse will hopefully feel like they are not alone and are encouraged not only to get help and support, but are also able to work out what support is right for them.
The film will also be a training tool for professionals. The women were reflecting on what it feels like to be properly heard, or not, and what it’s like to have been through trauma and then have to work with someone you don’t know, such as a new Social Worker.
Some of their messages to professionals were;
- Remember that we feel isolated and anxious
- Please pay full attention to the person you’re trying to help
- Professionals should work together when needed
- Women would like full feedback from MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences), they felt they were being spoken about, but don’t know what is being said.
Group members also said that they felt professionals didn’t always understand how complicated being in an abusive relationship is, that saying ‘just leave’ or ‘just call the police’ isn’t always helpful.
One woman said –
“I couldn’t call the police to my house if he was violent because I knew people who would make you disappear.”
They also talked about the fact that in multi-agency meetings, women and men were often held to different standards. So, if the child’s dad attended one meeting, they felt he was really praised, but if mum attended all of hers, but then missed one, she was judged much more harshly.
“He’s treated like a prince in meetings.”
The film is still in its early stages, but we’ll keep you posted and are looking forward to showing it to the public!
We’re so proud to announce that our young women’s healthy relationships project ‘The Key’ has been shortlisted for the Children and Young People Now Awards 2019! We’ve been shortlisted in THREE categories – the PSHE Education Award, the Early Intervention Award and the Safeguarding Award.
The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and works with girls and young women aged 13-25 from across Leeds who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, abusive relationships. We offer group work programmes – one for girls, one for young women and a third for those moving on from the initial group programmes. These focus on managing difficult emotions, improving confidence, identifying abuse in relationships and staying safe. We can do some intensive individual support with group members where needed too, this might be around things like managing mental health or risk, accessing other support, confidence building, attending meetings and looking at what a healthy relationship is.
We also deliver group work programmes in schools looking at healthy relationships and staying safe, plus one-off ‘bitesize’ sessions on healthy relationships. It’s a fantastic project and we’re so proud of it. Wish us luck at the awards!
Our Feel Good Course for women with learning disabilities is back in full swing. The course focuses on healthy bodies and healthy relationships, which actually covers a huge amount of topics. Women are able to go at their own pace and repeat sections of the course as necessary before moving on to a follow-on group where they can continue to build their friendships and look in more detail at subjects covered on the course.
We always get such lovely women on the course, so, inevitably, women make new friends. We often have a bit of a giggle, but still get to talk about some really important stuff.
What women have said about the course:
“I really like coz everyone was nice”
“It’s helped me be more safe”.
“I made new friends. Don’t want it to end.”
““I really enjoyed the course had fun and laugh. I really enjoyed it”
“I can help other women feel safer”
“I loved this course, I really enjoyed it”
We also deliver sessions to parents, carers and anyone supporting women with learning disabilities to help people feel more confident to engage in conversations about sex and relationships in an appropriate way. We know that people often feel embarrassed to talk about these things and so the subject often just gets swept under the carpet. This sometimes means that women with learning disabilities get most of their information about relationships from what they see in the media. This can be misleading and leave women more vulnerable.
The Feel Good Course runs on Tuesdays 2pm to 4pm at the Old Fire Station in Gipton. Contact Danielle Martin on 0113 244 3729 or email:email@example.com
We currently have spaces available for our city-wide healthy relationships group for 13-16 year old girls.
The Key girls group is for young women aged 13-16 from Leeds. It’s for those who have been in an abusive relationship themselves, have grown up around one, or who have something going on that might mean they may enter an unhealthy relationship in the future for example low mood, low confidence or difficult family relationships.
The group meets weekly on a Thursday evening in the city centre during term time, we provide taxis to get to group and home again. It’s a 26 week programme with sessions covering topics such as staying safe, building self-esteem, healthy family relationships, the impact of abuse on children, identifying relationship abuse, CSE, self-harm and managing difficult emotions like stress and anger. The group is really friendly and there’s no pressure to share anything they don’t want to.
When group members have completed the initial programme, there is the opportunity to go on to our Moving On Group if support is still needed. Young women can contact us themselves or be referred by a professional.
For more information, a leaflet or to download a referral form, please see our website – https://www.womenshealthmatters.org.uk/what-we-do/the-key/.
*Please note that we also have a Key young women’s group for those aged 16-25, but this group is currently full.*