A health service
This project aims to implement a service that will boost mental and physical health. It is recognised that women affected by domestic abuse experience deterioration in mental and physical health levels. Once they have taken the brave step of leaving the perpetrators, they experience a profound change of lifestyle. There are extra demands on their time and they have to shoulder the financial responsibility of their children. They also experience feelings of sadness and are affected by the loss of friends, family and social life.
This all leads to severe stress and related health problems. The project aims to encourage involvement in physical health activities and to teach the positive effects of a change in diet. The kind of services we aim to offer are:
- Weekly keep-fit and dance classes
- Walking groups in summer with picnics
- Cook and eat sessions, where women will be given healthy recipes and healthy lunch box ideas
- Regular health checks
- Seminars and workshops on healthy eating and good skin care
- Workshops to raise awareness of heart-related diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and sexual health
A Children's support service
This project aims to set up a service to support children up to the age of 16 years, who are affected by domestic abuse. Support will be provided in the form of one-on-one sessions and group support sessions with a separate group for boys and girls aged 8 - 16 years. Each child in our care will have a key worker assigned to him or her. We will work with the parents and family to ensure that any obstacles to the wellbeing of the child are dealt with.
Examples of obstacles to overcome include lack of finances, lack of adequate schooling or support from parents because of cultural or environmental issues. Issues surrounding child protection and parental access also impact on the child's wellbeing. This project will be supported by our online web chat room which is primarily aimed at teenagers. The chat room provides a safe and confidential environment where children can offload their problems without the fear of being "found out".
Our mentoring programme aims to ensure that service users become independent and self-sufficient through employment. We aim to offer educational programmes which will include skill building and training courses. These courses will be structured to accommodate service users with varying levels of skills. We already offer English language classes and in 2008 we had 560 attendances.
Unfortunately there are a limited number of refuges run by Asian staff who have an understanding of the cultural and community issues women face when fleeing domestic abuse. It is our dream to one day provide service users with shelter in our own refuges.