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Latest News

Solace crowdfunds for awe-inspiring video showing journey from abuse to recovery

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Solace launches crowdfunding appeal with The Big Give to produce awe-inspiring video that will convey just how Solace helps survivors of domestic or sexual violence on their journey to recovery. This will give survivors a voice and demonstrate how they were able to recover and rebuild their lives free from abuse. Solace will use the video to secure an extra £40K a year plus other help and support, ensuring Solace can continue to provide vital services to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

 

Many people think that removing women and children from the immediate control of an abusive man solves the problem of domestic and sexual abuse. Solace knows this is often only the first step for many survivors. Our recent research indicated that over 90% experienced post-separation abuse, and that there is a critical need for specialist support for women and children in the period after leaving an abusive situation.

 

We offer survivors vital on-going support that is tailored to individual need, listening to and believing every woman or child who asks for help. This is highly effective in helping them to recover and rebuild their lives. However, to provide this level of support we need to convince donors and funders of the positive impact of providing our services, however long it takes to help survivors build independent lives free from abuse. The video will tell our service users stories to help us do this.

 

To find out more and donate to our appeal visit our page at the Big Give

the-big-give-logo

 

 

North London Rape Crisis launches Friends and Family Counselling Service

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North London Rape Crisis (NLRC) now offers free short-term Counselling for Family, Friends & Partners of female survivors of sexual violence. Many supporters struggle with distressing feelings of upset, shock, grief, feel overwhelmed or have intimacy issues. Counselling can support supporters work through their thoughts and feelings about what has happened to a person that they care about.

 

The new counselling service is available to supportive friends and family members (including supportive make partners) of a female survivor of any form of sexual violence. The supporter must live, work or study in one of our seven boroughs including Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

 

Counselling is a talking therapy, based on regular weekly sessions with a counsellor in a safe and confidential place and provides a unique experience that focuses entirely upon the individual giving them the opportunity to explore their feelings.  We offer 6 sessions of short-term therapy, which take place on a Friday daytime in Islington and childcare and Interpreters are available on request.

 

Why have Friends & Family counselling?

  • To talk to someone who doesn’t know you personally and who is not going to judge.
  • You might feel disbelief when you first hear about the assault, you might feel surprised, shocked or numb.
  • You might feel anger for a number of reasons; towards yourself for not being able to protect the survivor; towards the perpetrator or towards the survivor.
  • You might feel guilt because you could not prevent the assault from happening or that the survivor did not feel comfortable to tell you about the assault right away.
  • You may feel anxious about responding the’ right’ way or worried about how this event will impact your relationship with the survivor.
  • People come to Counselling for all of the above reasons and many more. Whatever your reason it will be valued by the counselling service.

 

To find out more about the new Friends and Family Counselling Service contact:

North London Rape Crisis Helpline 0207 619 1369

10.00 – 14.00 Monday

10.00 – 13.00 Tuesday

13.00 – 17.00 Wednesday & Thursday

10.00 – 14.00 Friday

nlrc@solacewomensaid.org

 

 

Over 90% of service users feel safer and more confident

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In the 40th year of securing a safer future Solace is pleased to announce the most recent service user survey results, with 95% of service users who took part rating the service as good or excellent, helping them to feel more confident and safe.

 

Solace is committed to women and children having a central voice within the organisation in order to be able to provide continuously improving services. Each year Solace Women’s Aid conducts an annual service user survey across all its services. Over the period of four weeks, all service users are asked to complete a standardised questionnaire relevant to the service they are using at that time. Some key results from the survey include:

 

98% would recommend Solace to a friend or relative

‘Solace has been brilliant and been my life line.’ Solace Service User, Advocacy

99% said their key worker was easy to talk to

‘Solace understand the issues and believe the client. It’s very empowering because before I didn’t have a voice.’ Solace Service User, Advocacy

90% reported that Solace helped them feel safer

This year there was a significant increase (42%) in the number of responses so a huge thank you is extended to all those that made it possible and the service users that took the time to complete the survey.

‘The domestic violence workshop has been great, I am more alert now on signs of Domestic Violence’ Solace Service User, Advice

95% said Solace helped them feel more confident

‘I thank Solace for everything. I feel I am a changed person. I have started to feel positive about life. Thank you!’ Solace Service User, North London Rape Crisis

 

This year there was a significant increase (42%) in the number of responses so a huge thank you is extended to all those that made it possible and the service users that took the time to complete the survey. We are extremely pleased with such positive feedback from our Service Users who’s views are pivotal to the organisation and allow us to continually improve our services at Solace.

 

 

Celebrating 40 years of securing a safer future

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Solace Women’s Aid celebrates supporting 60,000 women and children in London over 40 years, with an urgent new appeal.

Solace Women’s Aid is celebrating its 40th year by launching an appeal to continue its life-changing work during a time of unprecedented demand for its services and cuts in public funding.

Since the beginning Solace Women’s Aid has grown considerably and has helped over 60,000 survivors of domestic and sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. They provide a holistic range of specialist services across London, including refuges, advice & advocacy, counselling, support groups and family & children’s projects.

Demand for their services continues to grow at an alarming rate. Mary Mason, CEO comments “As domestic and sexual violence is discussed more and more in the media we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of survivors who feel more confident in coming forward, disclosing their own experiences and seeking support. All this in a climate of significant funding cuts

Despite the challenges in the sector, more volunteers than ever are being trained on Solace Women’s Aid’s helplines and additional staff are being recruited to provide one-to-one counselling, group therapy and specialist legal advice. But there is a lot more they need to do to secure a safer future for women, hence the 40 year appeal.

The organisation is asking for a £40 donation from organisations, groups and individuals concerned or affected by domestic or sexual violence. This donation could, for example, provide two counselling sessions, three children’s play therapy sessions, one legal consultation or an hour of helpline advice.

The charity recognises that breaking free from domestic violence or escaping sexual abuse is only the start. This is why they not only provide practical advice and a safe space to live, but also help women and children recover emotionally and build a future free from abuse.

It doesn’t happen overnight and takes courage and determination but, with Solace’s help and the success of their new appeal, service users will continue to be able to develop the confidence and independence they need to rebuild their lives free from abuse.

One Solace service users sums it up “Your bruises go away and your bones mend. But it’s the despair, being hopeless. It’s a very dark place to be. Solace has given me hope.”

Visit www.solacewomensaid.org.uk/40years to make a real difference to the lives of women and children who have survived domestic and sexual violence. You can also spread the word by tweeting ‘Secure a safer future’ using @solacewomensaid and hashtag: #solace40

 

For further information please call Karen Ruskin on 020 7619 1350 or email: Karen Ruskin: k.ruskin@solacewomensaid.org / Alex Siepel: a.siepel@solacewomensaid.org

Find out more about our 40 year history

Download our 40 years of SWA press release

 

Improving safety for women

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Set up in Enfield in summer 2013, the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) service has been training clinical and non-clinical medical staff in recognising and using a clear referral path for dealing with domestic violence.

This work has proven extremely useful to GPs, and we are looking forward to continuing this training.  So far, Solace Women’s Aid has worked with the Enfield clinical lead on the project to deliver training to 26 different practice teams in east part of the borough.

In February 2014, the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) published its most recent public health guidance, which included the recommendation that GP practices and other agencies should provide staff with training on, and a referral pathway for, domestic violence and abuse.  Our IRIS training meets the NICE recommendations, with Level 1 training for receptionists and Level 2 training for primary care clinical teams.

We hope our continued work in this area will help improve organisational responses to domestic violence and abuse.

Making a difference with Ascent

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As the lead partner for the Ascent* Advice and Counselling strand, Solace Women’s Aid is proud to share some of the work we have accomplished in the first year of this project.

 

Leading a partnership of 14 organisations, we set-up and delivered a range of advice and counselling services across every London borough.  Services are delivered in a range of languages, and two advice hubs are now up and running.

 

In the past year, with our partners, we have supported more than 10,000 new service users across London, providing more than 10,000 one-to-one counselling sessions and more than 1,000 group counselling sessions. We have provided one-to-one advice to over 8,000 service users and have provided financial assistance to 37 women with no recourse to public funds to enable them to access vital services.  Read All »

Providing integrated care in Islington

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Solace Women’s Aid, in partnership with Liz Kelly from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), recently attended Islington’s annual Family Services and Outreach Workers event. The event – designed to equip front line workers with the knowledge, skills and ability to refer families to the appropriate services across Islington – is part of the council’s commitment to providing excellent integrated family services throughout the borough.

 

Read All »

Rock Against Violence is back!

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DBCohen, We Used To Make Things and The Fourfits are just some of the bands who will be playing at Solace Women’s Aid annual fundraiser, Rock Against Violence.

 

Returning to Islington’s O2 Academy on Thursday 13 November 2014, Rock Against Violence is a great night out featuring fantastic local talent and supporting an organisation that provides much needed services and support for women and children across London.

 

O2 Academy Islington
N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street
London N1 0PS

 

Tickets are £10. We will announce additions to the line-up here – http://www.rockagainstviolence.org.uk/ – and on Twitter via #rockagainstviolence_uk

Hope to see you there!

 

Solace publishes six new policy briefing reports

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These latest reports draw on the findings of Solace Women’s Aid’s three-year longitudinal study that followed 100 women and their children as they rebuilt their lives after domestic violence.  Topics include agency responses to women experiencing domestic violence; social housing needs of women and children moving on from domestic violence; financial (in)security; and the role communities play in ending violence against women.

Safe and secure housing crucial for rebuilding lives

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Solace Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Mary Mason, contributed to a recent article in Barnet Press about the local council’s requirement that domestic violence victims register as homeless before they can be rehoused.

 

“As a crime which takes place in the home, access to safe and secure housing is crucial for women and children seeking to rebuild their lives. It just does not make sense to create additional barriers to families in this situation,” she said.

 

She also noted that the council is participating in the North London Domestic Violence Reciprocal Agreement in which north London boroughs work together to rehouse domestic violence victims in a safe area.

 

http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=7308&headline=Domestic violence victims told to register as homeless to be rehoused

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