About our Domestic and Sexual Violence & Abuse Support Services
Our holistic approach, focusing on all aspects of women’s lived experiences, is based on the knowledge that women’s economic independence is best achieved when socio-cultural barriers are also addressed. Staff and management collectively have over 100 years experience of developing services for BME women survivors of violence and abuse, have published research and delivered specialised training on a wide range of issues associated with domestic violence.
Women who come to the Centre to access training and employment support are offered a range of support services aimed at building capability and capacity and empowering them to reach their full potential economically, socially and politically. Precisely because we do not operate overtly as a domestic violence project we are seen to be a safe access point for women requiring help and support. Primarily, word of mouth has provided the initial access route for women who have been assisted with domestic violence issues. Women seeking support from us do not fear being stigmatised or feel vulnerable because we can take time to establish trust and build support that meets individual needs. Women access support and help from the Centre on issues relating to domestic violence, family control and violence (including honour based violence) through a wide range of routes:
- Word of mouth, benefiting from our excellent reputation for supporting women survivors of all forms of violence against women
- Observing other women receiving support and help in the Centre
- Being signposted by other agencies and practitioners, and by family/community members
- Information and awareness raising about forced marriages and violence against women in Personal Development sessions
- Posters and literature about forced marriages, honour based violence and domestic violence, visible around the centre create an environment within which women are able to disclose abuse
- Registration procedures which include initial assessments and action planning with women focusing on safety in the home, relationships and safeguarding children.
The Angelou Centre through its membership/co-ordination of the Regional Black Women’s Domestic Violence Network has hosted national conferences and promoted local issues at national level including contributing to the Government Guidelines on Forced Marriages and other consultations. The centre has collaborated with Bristol University in research on Forced Marriages and at a national level, has worked in partnership with other groups, for example Southall Black Sisters, to raise the profile of specific issues.