Didn't know where to turn.
‘One lady had suffered domestic violence from her partner and needed emergency housing, I referred her to Manchester Homeless Assessment Team where she went into a temporary refuge centre. I continued to support her onto the emergency housing list and help her with housing benefit. I referred her to the Booth Centre for food and referred her to Food Banks. She became independent through accessing these services and now has a home and is financially independent. But my work hasn't finished there. She suffers severe anxiety and panic attacks and experiences frequent flashback. She still lives in fear. I am providing her with a listening ear and we are working through the type of support she needs to be able to recover.’
‘The woman I was helping was from Africa. She first came to me because her housing benefit had been stopped. I referred her to IAG for help in sorting this out. But eventually it all came out about the abuse. She was experiencing domestic violence and wanted to get legal support to file for divorce. We helped her with the Jobcentre and referred her to the Welcome Centre, Central Food Bank and Cheetham Hill Advice Centre. She is now getting her own benefits and is independent. She says that meeting regularly has helped her to feel confident in asking for help and knowing where to go. Talking to someone who has experienced domestic violence has made her feel less alone and that she is to blame. She attends the support group which she says is the best therapy for her.,
‘One of the women I was supporting was from the Sudan She was married and spoke very little English. We met a few times and I was eventually able to understand that she was experiencing domestic abuse from her spouse and her family and that she was being given death threats if she returned to the Sudan. Her asylum had been refused and she wanted to apply for divorce but she had no money and couldn’t find a way out. I referred her to the Immigration Aid Unit and the Welcome Centre. She joined the support group. She got emotional support through that and also legal advice and help through the national domestic violence helpline. She started English classes and went to a food bank. She is now living safely and has told me she is much more confident to meet with other agencies. She suffers from regular depression and admits to suicidal thoughts. At the moment she feels that talking is helping her but is open to further help in the future.’
It's not worth living.
Coming to the centre helped me get in touch with others, get out. Sometimes I just needed someone to talk to. Speaking to a WWA made me feel calm. Everyone was really nice at the centre and supported me.
They need somebody to talk to. It’s the only way it comes out, talking to a WWA. IAG definitely side-by-side with it because can’t just talk, it’s all the problems they’ve got.