Working with women who have been in domestically abusive situations has given me invaluable experience. In all cases, I have found the women and children to be very brave and resilient although they do not realise this initially. The refuge aims to support these strong survivors in a comfortable and safe home environment. Everyone has a right to feel safe. The most amazing team of staff work tirelessly in a non-judgemental way every day of the year.
The families arrive in the refuge at their lowest point full of anxiety and fear and with our help, they leave with courage, knowledge and motivation and also an appreciation for the support they have received during their stay.
Some women may not come to the refuge but engage with the invaluable outreach service where the knowledgeable staff will support them attending court, develop safety plans, advocate on their behalf, provide information in order that they can make an informed decision about their future and facilitate group support programmes for survivors of abuse and violence.
It might look like a building, however it’s a temporary safe home, it’s more than a roof over your head. It’s a place to try help repair the emotional damage done by abusive men/partners/family. It can offer therapeutic support and legal advice, all in a safe, caring non judgemental environment.
I was fortunate to have linked in with BWR 10 years ago.
After 20 years of domestic violence, with the help and support of the BWR, I was finally strong enough to stand up and protect myself and my 6 children. Without BWR support and being right by my side through everything, I don’t think I would have been able to do this. I am no longer a victim of domestic violence but a survivor of domestic violence.
BWR showed me that I didn’t need to live the life that I was living and that one day I would find happiness. Well, BWR was not wrong! They really showed me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. I am now a Key Worker in the BWR and feel working here is my way of giving back to other women, what BWR have given to me and my family. I now use my experiences to change other women’s lives for the better
The staff at BWR are truly inspirational women. The positive impact they have made to many vulnerable lives and those in distress will, in my view, remain one of the greatest gifts you could give to mankind.
When people ask me about my job and the work that we do, I nearly always get the
same response, “why didn’t she just leave?” or “that must be a terrible job”. My answer
to that is “I am privilege to work with the women that I work with.” To support women
from start to end on their road to freedom is one that I never take for granted.
We understand how hard it is to “just leave”, we understand the tactics abusers use to
make women stay, we understand the fear, we understand that the scariest decision
any women can make is to leave, and we understand the courage and strength it takes
to take that first step and reach out for help or support.
To watch women grow in confidence, come to understand that the abuse is not her fault
and to see them smile again is something I always cherish. One of our main goals is to
break down as many barriers as possible for women who are experiencing Domestic
Abuse. No woman should ever have a barrier when seeking safety and freedom from
The women we work with are survivors, not victims, they are empowered and supported
to make the decisions about their lives and how they would like to live.
I would encourage any women needing support to make the call and reach out, our
kettle is always on and someone is always available for a chat, sometimes that all you
might need. To talk, be listened to, believed and understood.
I am blessed to come to work and be surrounded by such diverse powerful women that cross our refuge door. I enjoy being encompassed by their hope, feeling the warmth of their connection with their children and to witness their growth and development. The refuge is a special place, in which we see warriors embrace their potential. We are their safe place, but they are also ours.