Solace Women’s Aid received £9,000 for 2018 – 2019 as well as the Irish Youth Foundation (UK) Quality award for 2018 + £1,000. WIN are delighted to see that their programming has been so successful over the last year.
We’ve included excerpts direct from their 2018 – 2019 report below, so that everyone can read about Solace’s achievements in their own words! Don’t miss the testimonial at the end – it really does speak to the domino effect of educating women to advocate for themselves and for other women in their communities. This is work that will last a lifetime.
Irish/Irish Traveller Domestic Violence Project
“The remit of the project is to provide individual and group support to young women and children in the Irish or Irish Traveller community, under the age of 30 years, who have experienced or may experience domestic or sexual violence. An Irish Travellers caseworker works 3 days per week to focus on the outreach element and supports survivors on the advice line for 2 days. This project works in partnership with the Traveller Movement to train women from the Irish and Traveller community to build their own skills and abilities to enable them to provide advocacy and support vulnerable young Traveller women and children.”
So far, the casework has provided support to 13 young women and their 3 children
“We have also been running a group programme called Phoenix Arise over 6 weeks since May 2019. The 6 weeks domestic abuse awareness programme targets young women, to raise awareness and to identify the abuse on a prevention level. There are 9 women under 30 signed up for the programme this year and the group work runs in partnership with London Gypsies and Travellers.
We also provided advocacy training to 12 young women, in partnership with Traveller’s Movement, to get trained and qualified around domestic abuse in order to support, train and raise awareness amongst other women in the community.”
Outcomes and Benefit of the funding
Of the participants and recipients of Solace’s services, the numbers are a testament to their success. 92% reported increase of safety, 72% an increase in wellbeing and 84% improved self-esteem and confidence.
We linked our clients with:
– Solicitors (for divorce, child custody, child contact, injunctions)
– Housing (refuge referrals, homelessness applications, housing transfer applications, sanctuary scheme referrals)
– Benefits advice services
– Counselling and groups work for ongoing specialist emotional support
– Literacy classes
– Moving forward workshops
“We believe the value of the prevention work and workshops are creating a domino effect within the community as now the women are supporting, talking with other women and raising awareness among the other young women who are out of the project’s reach due to isolation, control and so forth. This is clearly evidenced in the testimonial below. The benefit of awareness raising, workshops and creative activities is two-fold; more women become aware and informed, however more women become aware that their current domestic situations are not acceptable and look towards gaining specialist support. “
A testimonial from a service user who’s currently attending the Phoenix Arise groups commencing 30th May 2019:
“Thank you so much… honestly I’m not just saying this… when I was walking in I was like, “how is this going to go down?”. You know when people go to sessions like this people may ask “why do you go to those places?” but I did tell a few girls before I went and explained it. People assume that everyone gets beaten in the traveller community, but it doesn’t have to be like that, and I learned a lot today. I’m definitely going to try and get a few more girls down if I can… because it’s all about learning and these classes really help. I really did enjoy it, thank you.”