All of our groups are relaxed, informal places where women have the chance to meet others who have been through similar experiences. The groups and programmes are facilitated by experienced LWA workers who can also provide advice, signposting and referrals to further support.
Many women have worries and doubts about coming along for the first time. If this is the case, please call our helpline – 0113 2460401 for a chat.
We asked group members what they would say to anyone who is unsure about coming for the first time – here is what they said:
“I was very nervous the first meeting I went to, not knowing what to expect or how people would react to what I had to say about the abuse. Looking back I shouldn’t have been worried because I was made so welcome & my only regret is that I didn’t know about Women’s Aid 35 years ago.”
“If you do not want to talk that is fine, no one in the group will think anything, just listen and speak when you feel ready, or ask any questions, we will all be open to give our thoughts / experiences.”
“Everyone has been there so it’s ok to cry, to tell it at its worst. No one judges you, especially if you feel you are going backwards sometimes. Genuine support is there. We laugh at the grimmest things together!”
“Come in, don’t be afraid. The first time is a bit difficult but the second time is much easier – it’s just walking through that door. We’ve all experienced something – no one’s going to patronise you.”
We ran the Freedom Programme 2014-15 but we have now replaced this with our own Staying Safe Programme tailored to the needs of the women we work with. Details of this course are just below.
Staying Safe Programme
This is a 10 week course for women affected by domestic violence. You are welcome to attend if you are currently going through abuse from a partner or ex-partner, or if this is something you’ve been through in the past.
The Staying Safe Programme is designed so that women can support one another to understand domestic abuse, how it happens and how to become safe. It can be very useful for women who are worried about getting into another abusive relationship in the future as we look at the first signs that a new partner may be abusive. We also look at how abuse affects children and parenting, share skills for dealing with the emotional effects of a controlling relationship, and releasing feelings of guilt and blame. Throughout the course we work on building confidence, healthy boundaries and safe ways to be assertive.
The Staying Safe Programme runs both daytimes and evenings. Please call our helpline 0113 2460401 to sign up or to get more information. Agencies should also refer via this number.
Women’s Support Group
This is an open group – not a structured programme. It is also open to women who are now experiencing domestic violence, or who have been through it in the past. Group members share stories, support one another, plan safety, and learn about how patterns of abuse and control work.
If you would like to refer yourself to the group, or if you are an agency wanting to refer a woman you are working with, please call our helpline on 0113 2460401.
Our current group runs on a weekday morning. We are seeking funding for an evening group to make this service available to women who work during the day.