Managing relationships within your family, friends or community can be challenging. Many women who come to our centre experience domestic abuse. This may be physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, or violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.
If you have experienced sexual or domestic violence or abuse, the effects can be devastating and long-lasting. A traumatic event or exposure to long-term abuse can impact on your capability to lead a normal life, both emotionally and socially.
You may be physically hurt, suffering emotional difficulties and feeling overwhelmed. You may not know who to turn to for support. You may want to report the crime against you but not know where to start.
‘The best part for me... I have been able, for the first time EVER, to talk freely about what happened without being judged or blamed ...’
You don’t have to suffer in silence. It's important that you are able to reach out for help, to someone you can trust. The Women's Centre has specially trained support workers who can give you social and emotional support and help you to resolve some of the difficulties you are experiencing.
As well as individual support, we deliver The Freedom Programme which is an 11-week group programme, open to any woman who has experienced domestic abuse. Completing the programme will help you to have a better understanding about healthy relationships, help you to feel better about yourself and build confidence to improve the quality of your life, in a safe and supportive environment, with other women with shared experience.
“I’ve gained insight into my experience. It was good knowing I was not alone and seeing other women with similar experiences and sharing in a safe environment”
The Government defines domestic violence as:
"Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality"
This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic communities such as so called 'honour based violence', female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.
The Women’s Centre delivers the Freedom Programme in the Stockport area. It’s an 11-week programme that is open to any women who has experienced domestic abuse with her partner (whether that’s a man or a woman), a parent (including forced marriage) or son or daughter.
“One unexpected bonus has been that I’ve been able to help other people with what I have learned through the course. Another is that a group from the course now meet once a fortnight to support each other and continue the spectrum work.”
“Psychological abuse is horrendous . . . until I came to the Women’s Centre I didn’t realise what is abuse.”