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Domestic Abuse - What is it?

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are reported to have experienced domestic abuse.

Does your partner or family member... intimidate you, check up on you, dislike you having friends, blame you for the way they feel, call you names and criticise you, restrict your access to money?

Do you feel... frightened, lonely, depressed, isolated, powerless?

Are you in a relationship:

  • where one person tries to have the power and control in order to get their needs met?
  • based on fear, threats and intimidation?
  • where there is no respect and willingness to compromise?
  • where there are consequences to disagreeing and saying no?

This could be an abusive relationship and may be experienced by both women and men aged 16 years and over. Domestic abuse happens in marriages, partnerships, same sex relationships and families. It occurs in all cultures, class structures, age groups and is happening in your neighbourhood.

Watford Women's Centre Plus is much respected for the excellent reputation that it has gained over the last twenty five years in supporting women who have experienced domestic abuse. It has a broad approach offering information, advice and guidance, access to legal and housing professionals, counselling, crisis support and My Life domestic abuse awareness and personal development programme. Referrals are received from Children's Services, GP's, Health Visitors, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA's), Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), refuges, schools and Children's Centres. The Women's Centre plays a lead role at Watford and Three Rivers Domestic Abuse Forum and works closely with partners to secure funding used to offer a range of support services to women and children experiencing the effects of domestic abuse.

What support would Watford Women's Centre give me if I am experiencing domestic abuse?

We offer pre booked one-2-one appointments with a support worker who will listen and give you accurate information in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Initially we would talk to you about your situation, look at the safety needs of you and any children and discuss your options. These include the following services available at the Women's Centre:

  • Emotional and practical support from the staff team
  • 'My Life' Domestic abuse awareness programme
  • 1:1 counselling
  • Self-esteem programmes
  • Solicitors who give family, housing and immigration advice
  • Help with form filling
  • Referrals to Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Access to internet and photocopying facilities
  • IT tutors who advise and enable you to access IT courses
  • Career guidance worker to plan your return to work

We can signpost you to other appropriate agencies, including access to a refuge if required.

How do I access the services?

You can access the services by ringing us and to make an appointment with a centre support worker OR come in during our opening times to make an appointment with a centre support worker. Unfortunately we are unable to offer emergency help due to limited resources. If you urgently need help out of ours then please contact either the National Centre for Domestic Violence on 08709 220 704 or Herts Sunflower (Hertfordshire Domestic Violence/Abuse Service) on 08088 088 088 between 10:00am and 10:00pm Monday to Friday. If in danger of immediate attack call the police on 999.

Will it be confidential?

We hope that you will feel comfortable to talk openly with the support worker. Whatever is discussed with the support worker is confidential to the agency unless we have concerns around the safety of yourself or others, in particular children or vulnerable adults. We are then required to pass this information on to the relevant people who need to know. We will always try to include you in this process.

Will I have to pay?

There is no cost to seeing a domestic abuse support worker. However we gratefully accept donations to support our services. WWC Plus aims to offer low cost services and any charges will be discussed during your appointment. There is an administration charge and refundable deposit payable for any courses you may attend. There is a charge for counselling which will be discussed at your assessment.

 

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