Our support service is free of charge if your partner or ex-partner is using one of our services, or if he’s been referred to us.
You may want to talk about what has been happening, or get practical help making plans for you and your children. You can phone us, see us in person, or join a weekly support group with other women who have experienced domestic violence: it’s entirely up to you. You’ll always see women staff, and everything is entirely confidential.
Your partner or ex-partner is attending a Violence Prevention Programme
The programme is designed to help men learn how to be less violent, and to take responsibility for their actions. This takes time and there’s no quick fix. It lasts for over six months, with groups held once a week. They learn about respectful relationships, being a better parent and communicating without violence.
We contact you when he’s referred to the programme and we keep in touch. If you want to talk about what’s happening or you need support at any time, you can phone or arrange to meet us. And if we have any concerns about his behaviour, we contact you as quickly as we can and help you keep yourself and your children safe.
Your ex-partner has applied for contact with your children
If you’re in private law proceedings about contact, we get in touch if the Family Court refers your ex-partner to us so that they can have a risk assessment. This is a report about your children’s welfare, his past abusive behaviour and the risks he may pose to you and your children.
We invite you to meet an assessor, at one of our offices, as part of this assessment. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, but many women have found it helpful. It’s a chance to put your side of the story and help us make our recommendations to the Court about future contact arrangements. We don’t tell your ex-partner the date or time of your interviews.
Your children are in care proceedings
We contact you if your children are in care proceedings and Social Services refer you to us for an assessment. Our report is part of the care proceedings: Children’s Services and the Family Court use it to help decide who will care for your children. We’ll invite you to two or three interviews with an assessor. We ask you about his violent and abusive behaviour so that our report to the Court can include your views.
If your partner or ex-partner is also referred to us, for a risk assessment, we meet him at separate interviews he won’t know when your interviews are.