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Blog Archives

Race Against Violence at the Royal Parks Half Marathon

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Don’t miss the chance to support and run for Solace Women’s Aid at our first ever Royal Parks Half Marathon! Run through historic London, through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, passing stunning sites like the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace.

 

Date: 8th October 2017

Location: London

Distance: 13.1 miles

Registration fee: £35

Registration Deadline: 26th July 2017

Minimum Sponsorship: £325

 

Benefits of joining the Race Against Violence team

  • A Solace running vest
  • A fundraising pack to help you reach your target
  • Support throughout the training and fundraising process
  • We’ll be there on the day to support you and cheer you on!

 

Contact Jessie at fundraising@solacewomensaid.org for more information or to get your place!

Volunteer Awards 2016

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In December we held the volunteer awards ceremony. We would like to say a huge congratulations to all those volunteers who received an award and a big thank you to those who attended the event. We do hope you enjoyed the event and especially the quiz.

Volunteer Empowerment Award – Apollonia

Apollonia is a very warm, friendly and approachable volunteer, extremely dedicated to helping all the staff and service users that she works with.    She has selected cosmetics and toiletries from our basket for service users who were vulnerable or in a state of shock or mental distress and unable to do this for themselves.  Apollonia shows much care and consideration to service users and treats them gently and appropriately and always has their interests at heart.  She has several very busy jobs, 3 in Solace and several outside and she is always ready to help others and go many extra miles.  She continues to be a lovely positive presence in Reception that empowers others and makes everyone feel good about themselves.

Volunteer Commitment Award –  Amanda

Amanda volunteers with Enfield SASS she is reliable and efficient and has such a great work ethic. Amanda works 3 days per week and never misses a day. She works extremely hard, providing excellent admin assistance to the team, including excelling in her understanding of Oasis. More recently Amanda has taken on direct case work including risk assessing and supporting at court. Amanda has made fantastic use of the resources available at Solace from attending training and gaining accreditations, team meetings, case work, and support at court to ordering stationary. I am involved in the direct line management of Amanda and in fact have never worked with a volunteer that pays so much attention to detail as Amanda, she is keen to take on challenging tasks and sees it through to completion. I am always impressed by Amanda’s dedication to her role, her dedication for change an empowerment for women and children and the commitment she has shown to Solace. Amanda is approachable, and supportive when working with service user’s when advising over the phone, supporting at appointments or in court. She understands that our service users often at times need someone to represent their views and speak up when they feel unable too, Amanda on several occasions has been the voice they need. I believe her values and personal qualities highlight all that Solace represents and I am delighted to nominate her for the honor of Volunteer Commitment Award.

Volunteer Commitment Award –  Salma

Salma is very committed in her role on the Advice Line.  She is very proactive and will always seek to support clients and the rest of the team.  She is personable and empathic in her approach with clients and eager to learn as much as possible.  She is an asset to the Advice Service.

Salma is a fast learner and works hard to improve her work to a very high standard. Salma is willing and often helps other services such as on the Silver Project when asked. Salma’s friendly approach in the office has a happy effect on her colleagues.  Salma has actively been attending the training Solace provides.

Volunteer Commitment Award –  Nia

Nia has performed her role as NLRC helpline volunteer since June 2015 and has completed more than 200 hours supporting survivors of sexual violence. She has performed her role to the highest standards showing commitment by attending more shifts than requested and supporting the service during busy periods. I am particularly impressed by Nia’s strong work ethic, conscientiousness and her proactive attitude towards the ownership of tasks. It has been an absolutely pleasure to work with Nia as she is unfailingly enthusiastic and committed to SWA’s work in combating injustice and gender inequality. I feel that we have not only an excellent professional in our team but we have the pleasure of working with someone extremely kind, who genuinely inspired us all. She has a very approachable manner, is an excellent listener and genuinely cares about the well-being of all the callers seeking emotional support over the phone.

Volunteer of the Year Award – Wiss

In her role as helpline volunteer, Wiss has been providing emotional support over the phone to women and girls who have experienced sexual violence for 12 hours per week since April 2016. Wiss has conducted her role very effectively, showing excellent use of essential counselling skills and an empathetic and truly approachable manner with survivors seeking support. As such, she is a well-respected and trusted member of our team who could be relied upon to provide support and complete work to the highest standards. Wiss has offered assistance to other volunteers when they have required it on exploring the impacts of trauma and the use of grounding techniques in providing trauma-informed care that empowers survivors. Wiss is an extremely kind, thoughtful, dedicated and committed person. Her work has been outstanding compared with other volunteers which is why we believe that she should be granted the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Volunteer Newcomer Award – Danni

Danni has been an excellent volunteer and she settled into the Reception role very quickly in the summer.   Danni completes her work quickly, she uses her own initiative, she is discreet, calm and always cheerful, polite and approachable to staff and service users.  Danni works a high speed, she is a whizz in software packages, she can deal with challenging or difficult situations in Reception and she works very harmoniously with staff on the ground floor.  It’s a pleasure to work with her and always great to know that the Reception is in good hands.

Volunteer Newcomer Award – Violet

Violet has helped to deliver the latest ARISE Domestic Abuse Awareness Programme, a six week course that helps survivors understand abuse and move towards recovery.  Violet has thrown herself into the role from day one, and has been consistently reliable, helpful and a pleasure to work with. Not only does she engage well with survivors, making everyone feel comfortable and welcome, she also has bought in beautiful, healthy home cooked food for the women to enjoy during the sessions. Violet is a great volunteer and we look forward to working with her again on future groups.

Volunteer Newcomer Award – Izzy

Izzy is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is very committed to working with Solace and it shows in her daily tasks and in her input in team meetings.She is very skillful in her communication with service users and has shown an ability to keep up with the busy pace of the administration of the service.On top of providing support with our daily tasks she has been in charge of developing guides on how to carry out the most important administration tasks of our service and has also taken the lead in contacting women who have left our service to gain feedback. Both of these accomplishments have been greatly appreciated by our team.We know we will not be able to keep her forever because she is actively looking for jobs and there is no doubt she will be an immeasurable addition to any organization, but while she is with us we want her to know that our team really values her input and good humour.

A slideshow with pictures from the volunteer awards ceremony 2016

Solace launches training to help professionals respond to domestic & sexual abuse

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With over 3 million women experiencing some form of violence or abuse every year in the UK, more and more organisations are looking to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence around engaging and supporting survivors of all ages.

Drawing on over 40 years’ experience providing frontline services for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, Solace Women’s Aid provides training to professionals looking to develop their practice in responding to women, children and young people affected by these issues.

We also work with companies to help them develop their organisational response to domestic and sexual violence as it affects their staff, recognising the mutual positive, benefits for survivors and the organisation as a whole.

Solace Women’s Aid will be running regular open courses in 2017, from introductory training around domestic abuse to specialist training for practitioners and counsellors. These courses can also be delivered directly to your organisation or tailored to meet your needs. Email us to find out more or visit the training website page for more details.

Upcoming open courses

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Abuse

This course is aimed at those working directly with survivors of sexual violence and abuse in a range of contexts. As well as developing knowledge of rape and sexual violence, the course will help participants build the skills to facilitate and respond to disclosures of sexual abuse, and effectively signpost survivors to relevant local services, whilst maintaining professional boundaries.

Date: 23rd March 2017

Location: Solace Centre, London, N7 9NY, view on map

Book HERE

Domestic Abuse and the Impact on Children & Young people

The voice of children and young people is often missed in cases of domestic abuse. This course will help practitioners build their skills and knowledge around working with children and young people affected by domestic abuse, both whilst still living in abusive environments and post-separation.  This course includes practical responses for practitioners working with children and young people to help build the confidence to effectively respond to their needs.

Date: 23rd February 2017

Location: Solace Centre, London, N7 9NY, view on map

Book HERE

16 Days of Action – Women’s voices: Breaking out of the cycle of abuse

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I had been with my partner a year before she was ever physically violent towards me. After the first incident I wanted to leave but she apologised, told me she loved me, and promised to never do it again and I believed her. However, this pattern continued to repeat itself and I found myself stuck in a cycle of physical and emotional abuse and manipulation and coercion.

Whilst undergoing CBT I mentioned about an incident of violence to my therapist and she referred me to a small LGBT Domestic Violence charity. After months of support and encouragement that in order to get better I needed to get out of my abusive relationship and heal myself, I took the plunge and decided to get things in motion. After a very long two weeks of toing and froing between the council, my GP, the hospital, housing services and a rejection from one refuge on the grounds that they did not have the right support in place for my mental health needs, I was very fortunate to be given a room in Solace’s specialist refuge for complex needs.

My experience of being in an abusive relationship has had an unimaginable impact of my life. When I moved into the refuge I hugely struggled with self-harm, depression and anxiety and my sleep was plagued with nightmares and flashbacks to what had happened.

 

My experience of being in an abusive relationship has had an unimaginable impact of my life. When I moved into the refuge I hugely struggled with self-harm, depression and anxiety and my sleep was plagued with nightmares and flashbacks to what had happened. To add to this I used various substances as a way of coping with what had happened which only further impacted on my mental health. When I arrived at the refuge I had zero confidence in myself, virtually no self-esteem and had been coerced and manipulated to such an extent that I believed what had happened was my fault and that I had deserved it.

Solace’s specialist refuge is for women with multiple disadvantage – complex mental health issues and/or substance abuse issues, and with 24 hour support staff. Given the nature of the service, there were times when the refuge was incredibly chaotic however, it felt incredibly safe and for the first time I felt at home somewhere.

I genuinely felt like my keyworker believed in me which enabled me to make positive changes in my life and go on to maintain them.

 

We had various groups throughout the week ranging from art therapy to tai chi to how to cope with trauma and on Fridays we all had breakfast together as a house. Support at the refuge came in various forms but the most important factor was that each service user was in control of what they wanted to happen and we were empowered to make decisions and choices that reflected our individual needs. Having someone give me a hand up and guide me towards independent living meant so much to me and gave me a huge amount of confidence in order to achieve things in a way that would not have happened if I was simply handed something to do. I genuinely felt like my keyworker believed in me which enabled me to make positive changes in my life and go on to maintain them.

After 6 months in the refuge, I spent 2 months in a low support refuge and have now secured a job and am planning on moving in with some friends in the next few weeks. I would not have got to this point without the support from Solace Women’s Aid.

16 days of Action: Our POW facilitator talks about protecting our women

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The POW Project is a Violence Against Women and Girls training awareness programme for young people aged 11-25. The name POW which stands for Protect Our Women, was chosen by the young people of Haringey where the project has been funded to deliver.

The aim of this project is for young people and young adults to have an awareness of the different strands of VAWG. Topics include domestic abuse, sexual violence, trafficking for sexual exploitation, prostitution, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based violence.

Young people are experiencing dating violence and sexual violence in our schools and communities. This is evident from disclosures made after POW sessions in which a young person may share an experience they’ve been through or about a friend who may benefit from the information they’ve learned.

 

As the project facilitator I thoroughly enjoy working with young people and teaching them about the above topics. With the help of a co-facilitator we are able to guide young people through the course where they will learn how to identify all 8 strands of VAWG as well as when someone may be at risk of violence. We give them the tools on how to safely challenge someone’s abusive behaviour/language (when appropriate to do so) as well as informing them of the different support organisations available and the legal implications of each type of violence. The young people usually engage extremely well in each workshop and are able to freely contribute and offer their opinions on each topic.

POW workshops are a mixture of presentation, group activities, games, group/class discussions and videos. Every workshop surprises the young people as many of them do not have knowledge of these topics. Sexual violence and female genital mutilation seem to generate the most questions and discussion. Young people are experiencing dating violence and sexual violence in our schools and communities. This is evident from disclosures made after POW sessions in which a young person may share an experience they’ve been through or about a friend who may benefit from the information they’ve learned. After a disclosure has been made, safeguarding procedures for the school and Solace are followed.

Projects such as POW are incredibly vital in aiding the reduction of dating violence with young people. There are many organisations that specialise in supporting young people who have experienced domestic abuse and/or sexual violence but not near as many that provide preventative services for educational institutions and youth centres.

The POW Project is in its third year and has been achieving results with not only the young people but also the teachers who are present during the workshops and who have the opportunity along with the students to become POW Champions. Feedback and data analysis have shown that POW has made a difference to the young people and practitioners. It has given them confidence in their knowledge and skills of standing up against Violence Against Women and Girls.

“The POW project has been a real eye-opening experience; it enables students to learn and talk openly about pertinent issues that are highly emotive and are not always easy to address within education. The whole experience challenged the students (and me!) to rethink these important issues and how much we think we know about them, as well as educating about what we can all do ourselves to help and what other support services are available.”

 

“The delivery of material was really interactive; each workshop covers distinct topics with lots of ways for the students to get involved through discussion and group work. Some of the material is highly-sensitive, but the facilitator handles the topics skilfully and enables students to engage with some very difficult issues and facts. The facilitator created an atmosphere of openness and respect that allowed the students to voice their opinions honestly without fear of judgement. One thing I thought was particularly effective was the way the facilitator engaged the students to discuss points and issues, rather than simply instructing them what is right and what is wrong.

Running the POW project with our Y12 students was one of those most interesting and rewarding projects I have ever been part of,  so much so that I am undertaking training to become a POW Champion to be able to facilitate groups in the future. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to other schools- get on board quick whilst you can!” Ruth Cassell – Sixth Form Academic Coach

16 Days of Action – Women’s Voices: ‘I’m not defined by having been abused’

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I was thirteen when my relative first abused me. He was nearly 30. I was academic, studious, hardly knew anything about sex. I was terrified, couldn’t believe that he would do that, that he even looked at me like that. I come from a big, sprawling, angry Asian family where I’d spent my life trying to keep the peace. I’d been taught that family was everything. Blood was everything. He told me if I said anything he and his wife would end up getting divorced and it’d be my fault. I tried to avoid him but he kept getting me alone and he did it again and again.

Then one time he scared me so much I ran screaming into another room where my Auntie was sleeping with her kids. I told her. She told my Mum who believed me but said it was best to do nothing.

My Mum kept me away from him for the next few years. I became isolated, never wanted to go to family functions. People started saying I was weird, that I thought I was better than them. I saw him a few times and he’d laugh and wink at me.

I moved away and made a life for myself. I got therapy, reported him to the police, but couldn’t go through with making the statement because of the damage I thought it would do to my family.

Years later, I learned he’d found religion and was an important member of the community, liked and respected. His wife told me he was sorry and that I had nothing to fear from him.

All I ever wanted in life was a family to belong to and slowly I started being around them again. Believing that the horrors he’d put me through were behind me. Then one day, at a family function he tried to touch me again. I was incredulous. And suddenly I was plunged back into the darkness.

By now I had a lovely partner, two young children, a career, but it was like going back in time. I was that child again, who couldn’t understand why this was happening, who thought it was her fault. I couldn’t sleep because of the nightmares and the flashbacks, I felt sick all the time. Most of my family didn’t know about the past and I couldn’t bear the secret any longer. So I told them what he’d done. They believed me but said they didn’t want anything to do with me. My sister actually said she knew it wasn’t my fault but it was best if I got on with my life and let them get on with theirs. They sent Christmas presents back and ignored me in the street.

I was broken, couldn’t sleep and was barely functioning. I went to the GP who referred me to Solace. I met a counsellor who listened as I recounted my story. She suggested that I come to a group for survivors of child sexual abuse.

It was a life changing moment, I met other women who’d been abused and some who’d also been ostracised by their families for talking about it. Two workers ran weekly sessions where we’d share and support each other. We played games, did exercises, read poetry, cried and laughed. We talked about the agony of abuse but also that we were more than what had happened to us.

I started to believe that I have worth and realised that I want to live, that despite what’s happened, I can build a good life, that I can be happy and have fun and laugh, that I’m not defined by having been abused. That even though my family pretend I don’t exist, I am somebody and I am free.

16 Days of Action – Women’s voices: ‘My journey with Solace’

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My journey with Solace started in October 2010 and is still continuing.  After over four months of phone calls to the National Domestic Violence Helpline, I was put through to Sarah* in a Solace refuge. The kindness, calmness and reassurance that I felt from her voice gave me the courage to finally make that leap into the unknown for me.  I say “unknown for me”, as I had worked full-time since the age of 15 and owned my own property since the age of 19.  The benefits system was unknown and a total enigma for me.  However, I had been made false promises by my ex and convinced to give up work on the birth of our daughter and thus coerced into “lending” him money to cover his debts.  Needless to say, I lost my home, still had his debts in my name and was destitute.media-card-i-lost-my-home

I arrived in the Refuge in October with my daughter and a bag and a case of belongings and £85.  Sarah was lovely and immediately dialled the number to start a Benefit Claim.  I got to my room.  I still couldn’t quite believe what I was doing, but I already knew that it was the right thing and I was never going back.  I can still remember the feeling in my stomach of being terrified but also excited and relieved.  I knew it was the beginning of our new life.

We moved into our flat about six months later. We had nothing.  The flat was a disgusting mess, so I used my overdraft facility to pay a painter and decorator, buy carpets and a mattress for my daughter.  I then scrubbed and cleaned for days.  I was still in regular contact with Solace, as when I arrived in the refuge I had volunteered to participate in the “Cost of Freedom” project.  Thank goodness.  It was so cathartic and grounding.

Some ten months after moving into our flat, I had a sort of relapse, and felt terrible as I had started re-living things that I thought were long gone and buried.  After all, almost eighteen months had gone by, surely I was mended?  Solace reassured me, and told me that it was perfectly natural and normal and suggested that it might be an idea to put me in touch with the Solace counselling service.  I agreed.  I went on to do media work around the research I had been involved in, which was both rewarding and again cathartic.  I even got a bunch of flowers from the Home Office, how many people can say that?  I started much needed counselling which saved me from making so many mistakes and helped me understand so much about myself and the abuse I had suffered.  I think I have had three rounds of counselling and I am about to start another one next week.

During one of my many meetings with Solace, it was also identified that my daughter would benefit from Play Therapy for an eating problem. She was taking a long time to eat her food and trying to avoid eating meals. I had the pleasure of meeting Linda*, a children’s play therapist who was sensitive, calming and inspirational.  My daughter went on to do therapy with her.  I called the weekly meetings “Special Time” and my daughter loved every second that she spent with Linda.  Every week she would be asking “How many sleeps until Special Time?”  She couldn’t wait for Friday to come round so she could go to her Special Time and see Linda.  She always came away beaming.  We were both really sad when it ended.  My daughter loved every second of her time with Linda and she now eats well.

Six years on, I am still doing Media work for Solace, I am about to start Counselling again and I have a happy daughter with a voracious appetite.

So, thank you Solace. I am still here for you as you have always been for me.

*All the names have been changed

Double your donation today!

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Double your donation to help Make a House a Home for survivors of domestic abuse. Your £5 will become £10. Your £50 will become £100.

Between Midday on November 29th and Midday on December 2nd 2016 your donation will be matched by The Pilgrim Trust when you give to Solace Women’s Aid through The Big Give

Click here to donate to Solace with The Big Give

Making a House a Home

When women and children flee domestic abuse to Solace Women’s Aid refuges, they often leave with nothing except the clothes on their backs, feeling traumatised and afraid. Our project Making a House a Home focuses on solving the isolation and fear that survivors of domestic and sexual abuse feel when they enter our refuges, and the effect it has on their families. Solace will be refurbishing our refuges and providing essentials packs of food and toiletries to help create a more welcoming environment.  We will also provide a Family Support Worker to help women and children with emotional and practical support to help them on their journey towards recovery.

Your donation could help a family like Lucy & Max’s

Lucy suffered many years of horrific abuse from her husband, and she was very worried about the effect on her small son Max, aged 7.

Last Christmas the violence became even worse and she and Max desperately needed to leave their home – but Lucy was afraid they would be left destitute, with nowhere to stay. Then a friend told her about Solace Women’s Aid, and we provided them with somewhere safe to stay, which meant they could escape.

To make sure Max was safe he changed schools and they both lost contact with friends and the life they knew. They felt isolated and afraid, and Max felt confused after years of seeing his dad hurt his mum. Along with a room of their own, Solace also provided them with essential items, such as basic food, clothing and kitchen equipment, to help them find their feet. Most of all we made sure they were safe and warm, and gave them emotional support to help them recover and rebuild their lives. We even helped Max to make new friends.

We are delighted that Lucy and Max have now settled into their own home and are living independently, free from abuse. Max is doing well in his new school, and Lucy is now working and both are feeling positive about the future at long last. With your support, Solace can be there for more children like Max this Christmas.

And between Midday on November 29th and Midday on December 2nd 2016 making a donation will go even further as it is double through The Big Give Christmas Challenge. Find our more and donate here

*Max and Lucy’s story is true but their names and image have been changed to protect them.

16 Days of Action – Young women & girls invited to become champions to help end violence and abuse

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There’s an AMAZING new project coming your way in Haringey and Islington!

Is it fair to be treated differently because you are a girl?

Are you free to say no and do what you want in a relationship?

Are you able to express how you feel without being judged

 

WHO CAN GET INVOLVED?

If you’re 11-21 years old, living or studying in Haringey or Islington and passionate about injustice towards young women and girls then WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Come be a part of a creative, fun, vibrant, positive, exciting project for young women and girls that can’t be done without YOU!!!

 

WHAT IS THE PROJECT?

Over the next 5 years Solace Women’s Aid, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, will run an exciting project where women and girls will be supported and given opportunities to help themselves and other young women and girls challenge and change the way they are seen in society and their communities when it comes to violence and abuse.

This is the time for young women and girls’ voices to be heard! #WomenAndGirls

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

You can become one of our CHAMPIONS through your school, college or community group. Let a teacher or staff member know that you would like to run this project in your school. Ask them to email info@solacewomensaid.org

WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED?

There are so many great opportunities! You can help shape the project for young people by:

  • Designing materials and social media websites
  • Co-delivering workshops to young women on Violence Against Women and Girls in your school, college or community setting
  • Gaining AQA Levels 1 and 2 accreditations and work experience.

If you become a CHAMPION you can…

  • Develop important skills – assertiveness, organisation, planning and presentation
  • Increase potential future employment opportunities by helping organise event and residential trips
  • Have fun and meet new people!

At the end of each year we will hold big celebration events where we will celebrate achievement and recognition of young people’s participation and hard work in raising awareness on violence against girls and young women.

NEED A LITTLE OF YOUR OWN SUPPORT?

We have Youth Advocacy workers providing one to one support to young women and girls who have experienced/are experiencing violence, abuse and any other issues such as, low self-esteem, lack of friends, bullying, sexual harassment, unhealthy relationships, peer pressure, depression and anxiety.

We also will run and a 10 week educational programme to increase awareness and a better understanding of violence against young women and girls. The main aim is to help you build up your confidence, resilience and knowledge to help you recognise unhealthy and unsafe relationships and help you advocate for yourself and others.

Sound exciting? Contact your school/college/youth group or us on info@solacewomensaid.org

We can’t wait to have you on board!

16 Days of Action – Women’s voices: “The light that guided me through the darkness”

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I want to begin this with saying thank you to every single person who has been involved in making Solace possible. The work you do is priceless and it has changed my life and that of those around me for the better. Words cannot express how thankful I am to you for extending your hand in helping me climb out of the ditch, stand firm and see the world and myself and to walk towards my destination, no matter how uneven the pavements might be.

I came to Solace, eight months ago, frozen in time and completely dead on the inside, like a lifeless doll. Having tried therapy numerous times through other services, I was unsure as to whether this was going to work for me. On the first day, I was also a little lost in finding the address given that there were no signs, but that in itself attributed to feeling safe immediately.

Week after week, a little bit of me, came back alive. When I had tried therapy in the past, I needed to first explain the cultural side of things and go through a geography session of which part of the world I came from to the therapist but I didn’t have to go through that with my therapist from Solace. She knows how to help people that come from a minority ethnic background. I think this is very important and valuable, as not only does it save time and energy but also plays a big role in building the trust that is needed to open up and get on with the issues that lie at the core.

The dynamics of my close relationships have changed for the better, my career has taken a new direction, and I am finally following my passion of writing and doing a masters in a field that I enjoy. But most important of all I feel reborn.

In such a short amount of time, my therapist has helped me help myself. The dynamics of my close relationships have changed for the better, my career has taken a new direction, and I am finally following my passion of writing and doing a masters in a field that I enjoy. But most important of all I feel reborn. My therapy sessions have come to an end, but I know my healing has just begun. There will be ups and downs but I now have the armour to protect myself, the knowledge to notice the patterns, the courage to face the winters and my therapist says that I can always come back if I need more sessions.

I have always been sceptical of institutions but I have seen the work that Solace does first hand, and I hope to be in a position in the near future to support Solace to continue to do the life changing work they do. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who have experienced what I have and don’t have the privilege of coming to a place like Solace and meeting someone as knowledgeable, understanding, inspiring and caring as my therapist. I want to also thank the group facilitators of the arts therapy as that also hugely helped me.

I can say that I feel that I have a deeper understanding of what happened in my life, why I responded the way I did, why I have felt so disconnected from my body. I am learning to just be in the moment and enjoy the gift of being present. I don’t feel dead on the inside. I no longer want to be rescued. In short, feel that I have choices and more tools to take care of myself, something which was I was lacking before.

I am a survivor of war, child sexual abuse and human smuggling, honor based violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, addiction, failed systems and old traditions. And I still have so much love and hope for this world.

COVER YOUR TRACKS