A helping hand
For fifty years, Women’s Aid has traditionally been associated with providing refuges for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. There are now hundreds of refuges right across the UK, including ours at Border Women’s Aid.
But times change, and ideas about how best to enable women to live lives free from domestic abuse change too. We recognise that one size does not fit all when it comes to supporting women. So, in addition to refuge, our Outreach Service was established to extend our capacity to respond to each woman according to her needs. This service ensures that we can be with women at all stages of their journey, not just for the relatively short time they may spend in refuge.
Border Women’s Aid is here to help you out.
“I feel more in control and hopeful for the future because of BWA.”
What is Outreach?
Not every woman experiencing domestic abuse wants or needs to leave her home and be separated from family, friends and community to move into refuge. Understandably that can feel like the women is being doubly punished. Unfortunately, leaving is sometimes indeed necessary, especially when the safety of women and their children is paramount.
An alternative is offered by our Outreach Service, which offers support to women from the moment they contact us. We help women access benefits, healthcare, housing and other services, and provide much-needed emotional and psychological support. We also support friends and family.
Is Outreach right for me?
Domestic abuse can happen to anybody, irrespective of what age you are, your sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, profession, disability or economic circumstances.
You may have experienced something for the first time that you suspect is a form of domestic abuse. Or you are currently in an abusive relationship of long standing. Or you have been in the past, and still bear the physical and psychological scars from it. Or maybe you aren’t experiencing abuse yourself, but you want to help a friend or family member who is.
Women can access Outreach no matter their circumstances.
BWA is here to help ALL women. We respond to women at all stages of their journey, from doing preventative work before a situation becomes a crisis to enabling women to reflect back on their experience and its long-term impact on their lives.
How we do it
Depending on her needs, this contact can range from a one-off consultation to a longer-term involvement. Above all, we listen – so that women know that their experience is validated. We help women to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse, which is a critical factor in enabling them to take control of their lives and to make well-informed plans for their safety and their futures.
We work in many different ways, depending on your circumstances and preferences:
- Face-to-face support sessions.
- Telephone/Email/Text/Zoom/MS Teams interactions.
We run a highly popular and successful peer support system, so that survivors can safely speak, to share common experiences and provide mutual support. Our Own My Life courses have been particularly successful in this regard.
Nothing is compulsory; the choice is always yours.
What our clients say
“It wasn’t until I contacted Borders Women’s Aid that I understood more about coercive control and gained a deeper understanding of just how damaging psychological abuse can be…..I still struggle some days with anger and denial, but I’m learning to be independent and trust myself more.”
“Thanks for listening to me. You are the only ones that do. Social workers and doctors none of them listened to me or help me. You always do …”
“I really appreciate your support. You’ve already helped a lot and I’m honestly starting to see things differently…it’s a valuable service you provide.”
“You’re amazing and your support is what keeps me going. You have no idea what you have done for me and continue to do.”