Seetec supports victim to rebuild her life after domestic abuse
During Covid-19 lockdowns, victims reported they were finding it harder to reach out and ask for help. For Sarah, our new, timely support made taking those first crucial steps to end the trauma easier, helping her make changes in her life for the better.
Sarah entered the probation system for an assault on her partner. Soon after, she confided in her probation officer that this had been a reaction to enduring years of abuse at his hands.
She recalled how previously her partner had been kind and caring, courteously opening doors and helping her with her coat. Overtime, he became threatening and controlling. He blamed his heavy drinking for the change in his behaviour which was causing distress.
Following Sarah’s assault, she lost her job, her belongings and left her marriage.
When she returned to her family home to collect some belongings, Sarah breached her restraining order against her ex-partner and ended up in prison for five weeks. She says prison liberated her more than she had ever felt in her relationship.
It took a long time for Sarah to acknowledge she needed professional help to process her devastating experiences. Thanks to our domestic abuse initiative, Safer Wednesdays, she had the support to face her feelings and the effects of years of abuse.
Safer Wednesdays is a group we started during lockdown to provide a dedicated day for women to access vital help and support. Sarah found the courage and strength through Safer Wednesdays to get the help she so desperately needed. She describes how her support worker Sam helped “build up her strength again.”
Sam referred Sarah to counselling and secured her a place on the Freedom Programme. Sarah was finally able to make sense of what had happened to her and process her feelings.
The experience has been “life-changing” for Sarah. She is starting to heal and mentally process the abuse she was subjected to.
She says: “Sam has been so supportive. I am a new person now, thanks to the counselling and the programme. I didn’t think I could get through this, but the guidance I received on the programme immediately reassured me. Thanks to this support, I now know that I want to help others who have been through this type of trauma too.”
Sarah is looking at a bright new future full of possibilities. Now in a happy and healthy relationship, she is following her dream and training to become a counsellor.
A worrying trend
Domestic abuse is prevalent throughout the year but escalates during the festive season due to excessive alcohol consumption, financial worries and people spending more time at home. People will often start looking for help in the new year, but lockdown restrictions are further exacerbating the rates of domestic abuse.
Last year, calls to the domestic abuse charity, Solace Women’s Aid increased by 77% following the Christmas period. The charity predicts the number of calls they receive will reach a record high in 2021.
Interventions are vital to combat this worrying trend. The Counting Dead Women Project has reported at least 16 suspected domestic killings, including children, between the 23rd of March and the 12th of April 2020 – the highest it has been for 11 years.
The help we provide
We are committed to tackling domestic violence by working with both victims and perpetrators to end this type of abuse.
Working with victims, we help with safety planning, advice and liaise on their behalf with other agencies, such as the police and other support services. Through our domestic abuse and stalking programmes, we also help perpetrators who show a pattern of violence against their partner to take personal responsibility to overcome their behaviours.
With a real and frighteningly significant connection between stalking and intimate partner violence, our pioneering Stalking Programme helps address this aspect of domestic abuse. It’s the first of its kind in the UK and approved by The British Psychological Society. Many perpetrators use stalking to intimidate and control their victims.
We also continue to promote and provide domestic abuse training to employers and employees, so they can spot the signs of domestic abuse while working more remotely.
For further information about our range of behavioural programmes, research and learning, and development consultancy services, contact us today.
*We've changed the service user's name to protect her identity. The photo is posed by models.