Swindon Women's Aid

The Halcrow Foundation is funding a project run by Swindon Women’s Aid that helps victims of domestic violence and abuse recover from trauma, improve self-esteem, and protect themselves from abusive relationships in future.

Swindon Women’s Aid is a charity that provides emergency accommodation, advice and support to victims of domestic violence and abuse in Swindon. It has a refuge which provides a safe place for women and children fleeing their homes because of abuse, and its community outreach service helps people who want to stay at home before leaving abusive relationships in a safe, planned way.

Improving self-esteem

The Halcrow Foundation is supporting Swindon Women’s Aid by funding the training of unpaid volunteers to deliver its 12-week Recovery Toolkit Programme. The structured programme works with groups of 10-15 people and has a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach which supports trauma recover, improves self-confidence and esteem, and encourages positive lifestyles. It also aims to re-establish parenting relationships and educate victims about the dynamics of abusive relationships and how to protect themselves from these in future.

Natasha Moyles from Swindon Women’s Aid says: “As a domestic abuse charity, we are keen to support people to lead lives which are free from abuse and future harm. We believe this programme is key to developing their confidence and esteem to do this. Thanks to funds from the Halcrow Foundation, we are able to expand this programme by training more volunteers, and make a proven difference to the lives of the people we support.”

Positive results

Results from the programme so far have shown 85 percent of the victims were free from abuse six months after completing the course. This means they had not returned to abusive partners or gone into new relationships which were abusive. Swindon Women’s Aid believes these positive results demonstrate a huge reduction of harm to the victims and their children, as well as cost savings to agencies who respond to victims’ needs, such as police, hospitals and housing. Most importantly, the programme has a big impact on the confidence of those who take part, and allows them to move on from being a victim to becoming a survivor.