Get help Domestic abuse Domestic abuse When hearing the words ‘domestic abuse’, many people still think this only relates to instances physical violence - ‘hitting, slapping or beating’ - when in fact it can, and often does, involve much more than this. Yes, domestic abuse can entail appalling levels of violence but it can also relate to psychological, emotional, sexual and/or financial abuse. The women we support report everything from constant insults, intimidation, harassment and stalking to marital rape and being subject to every part of their life falling under their perpetrator’s control. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Almost 30% of women in England/Wales say they have experienced domestic violence/abuse since the age of 16. If you are, or have been, affected by domestic abuse and live in Luton or nearby, you are not alone. At Luton All Women’s Centre, our specialist Domestic Abuse service can help you get out (and stay out) of a dangerous relationship, support you in coping and recovering from your experiences, and help you take the steps you need to move on to successful and independent living. What we can offer 1-1 Casework When you come to us for help, we’ll talk with you about your current situation/ needs and allocate an individual adviser to your case. We’ll work with you to create a safety and recovery plan that will usually have several elements. For example, if you need guidance through criminal proceedings, we’ll help you understand what is likely to happen. If you need help making practical improvements in your life, e.g. housing, we’ll guide and support you. And, if you need emotional support, we’ll be right by your side. At some point, your adviser will probably encourage you to join one of the specialist groups listed below and, where beneficial, may refer you to other services at the centre too – e.g. counselling or our Wellbeing Group. Groups We run three specialist domestic abuse groups for women at our centre. These are: Freedom – This 12-week programme is designed to help victims understand more about what domestic abuse actually means and how it impacts on their lives. Throughout this course, women are given opportunities to develop ways of thinking and acting to protect themselves, their children and others from harm, as well as to develop friendships with other members of the group. Moving On – This is a 6-week follow-on programme designed to reinforce what was learnt within the Freedom programme, supporting you to cope with the after-effects of abuse and providing guidance on how to move forwards with your life. Our Lives – Similar to the Freedom programme, this 6-week course aims to educate and encourage women to address the impact that domestic abuse has on their lives. It is delivered in Bengali and Urdu, and looks at how the beliefs around the role of women are created within the cultural and religious context of women from South Asian communities, and the relevant areas of British law. Solicitors advice surgeries We offer a free solicitor advice surgery for our clients at the centre which takes place twice a month on Wednesdays and Fridays. Any issue can be discussed at an appointment. This surgery is kindly supported by JKC Lawyers and is available only to women who are existing users of the centre. Get help now! If you believe you (or someone you know) is in immediate life-threatening danger, please call the Police on 999. Otherwise, to find out more about accessing any part of our Domestic Abuse Service, drop into the centre (Mon – Fri, between 9.30am – 12noon) or call us on 01582 416783. We guarantee you’ll be greeted by a friendly face or voice. Access other sources of help, information and resources around domestic abuse here.