Charity in focus: Hull Women’s Aid

Hull Women's Aid

Published: Friday 27th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Founded back in 1975, Hull Women’s Aid provides integral support to victims of domestic violence. Prioritising the safety of women, children and young people, the organisation operates a 24-hour access policy for those seeking safe accommodation.

We spoke to Michelle Donnelly, Service Manager, to find out more about the crucial work that they deliver.

“Hull Women’s Aid is part of the nationwide organisation, Women’s Aid Federation of England,” explains Michelle.

“Our first refuge was purchased in 1973 and we became a registered charity in summer 1975.”

Since then, the charity has worked hard towards improving and developing provisions and services. These are available to women, children and young people that have experienced physical and emotional abuse.

“We provide a number of services, including safe accommodation for women and children if they need it,” Michelle tells us.

“This means 24-hour access to a safe space away from a domestic violence situation. Some families come in the middle of the night, and that’s absolutely fine.”

HWA has also dispersed property within the community, which accommodates families that may struggle with communal living.

Additionally, they provide a ‘move-on’ floating support service, for those who have stayed in the refuge and now want to move on into their own properties.

“A worker will support them during their integration back into the community,” says Michelle.

“On top of this, we have a helpline for anyone who needs support or advice. Women, children and victims of abuse can ring up on a round-the-clock basis.”

HWA was set up in the mid-seventies as part of the second wave of the Feminist movement, when there was not as much awareness surrounding male abuse victims.

Today, we acknowledge that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse. In response, HWA has adapted its services over the years to help combat this stigmatised and gendered issue.

For affected children, HWA provides a bespoke outreach support service, which includes one-to-one advice:

“This usually takes place in a school environment, in order to make the children feel safe,” says Michelle. “We also offer support and advice to the non-abusive parent whilst work is being carried out with their children.”

For affected children, HWA provides a bespoke outreach support service, which includes one-to-one advice:

“This is usually done in a school environment, in order to make the children feel safe,” says Michelle. “We also work closely with schools to put on preventative workshops to promote healthy relationships.”

These sessions are vital for children and young people that have experienced domestic violence in their home environment. They can also make a crucial difference to those who may not realise they may be in an abusive relationship.

In 2017, the team at Hull Women’s Aid hopes to develop its services further, as well as opening a charity shop to raise funds.

“It’s a very exciting step for us and we’ll be taking on volunteers to work in our store once it’s open.”

You can find out more about Hull Women’s Aid at hullwomensaid.org, or call them directly on 01482 446099.

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Published: Friday 27th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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