Pioneering help for women victims of domestic abuse

Our donation of £3,350 to specialist mental health charity Woman’s Trust will pioneer new group therapy sessions for women victims of domestic abuse.

The benefits of group therapy for women victims of domestic abuse

“We know that some of the biggest issues women victims of domestic abuse have to contend with are around isolation. Group sessions allow them the opportunity to connect with other survivors. So they create networks through interaction. They receive encouragement, support, and empathy in a non-judgemental environment. And many of the women go on to form lasting friendships. Women value the support from each other, which differs to the support received  from agencies, families or friends. It provides the potential for a lasting resolution” –  CEO Heidi Riedel

In her own words

“I have been in domestic violence relationships for many years and l just bore it. But two years ago I had enough and l left. I do still have a sad days and flashbacks of the events, but l feel much stronger as an individual. I don’t have to ask a permission to do something as l had to before. I am free woman, who is just getting better in getting to know herself again. It is amazing. Woman’s Trust gave me the best support and positive energy to fight for myself and my child.”

COVID-19 update from Woman’s Trust on pilot group therapy for women victims of domestic abuse

“When we wrote the application to you, we saw this as a group to ‘hold’ women as they waited for their 18-week counselling or 8-week support groups to begin with us. However, the Covid-19 crisis, led us to adjust our thinking.

Pandemic has increased/worsened abuse

Women arriving at Woman’s Trust report increased/worsened abuse

  •  48% report suffering depression; 44% have suicidal thoughts; 98% report high stress/anxiety (all percentages are higher than pre-pandemic)
  •  65% of women reported 5+ types of abuse whereas before, 46% reported 5+.
  • There are increases in specific types, including sexual abuse (from 29% to 40%) and technological abuse (from 15% to 30%)

In addition, many women are stuck with court cases going nowhere and in unsuitable/unsafe temporary accommodation as all services are halted or delayed due to the pandemic.

Wraparound support

Women are telling us that they were struggling with the idea of their therapy ending with us. We therefore decided to also allow particularly vulnerable and at risk women to attend the group so that they may lengthen their time at Woman’s Trust and benefit from wraparound support that would increase the positive outcomes achieved and enable them to better cope once they had left our service.

We ran the two groups using Zoom (rather than face-to-face, due to Covid-19 restrictions).”

More about Woman’s Trust

Woman’s Trust is a specialist mental health charity providing free counselling and therapy for women who experience domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is the single largest cause of depression in women across the UK. It has links to drug misuse as well as addiction and other mental health conditions.

The Woman’s Trust has supported more than 14,500 women and provided the equivalent of over £4.5m in vital mental health care for survivors. Their counselling and workshop therapy sessions give vulnerable women a chance to recover and deliver a long-term, positive impact on their mental health.

To find out more, visit www.womanstrust.org.uk.