For Professionals

 

Keep reading to find out more about the different types of support we can offer as well as how you can access our training and policy advice services .

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Looking to support an employee or a colleague?

The Haven receives referrals from many agencies seeking support for their clients who have been subjected to domestic abuse or violence, or are vulnerable to homelessness.

Recognising the signs of abuse
Sometimes the first hurdle is for a woman is to recognise that her experiences at that of abuse. Our You Matter website was developed by women who have been subjected to abuse as an early intervention tool with the aim of ‘realising it’s abuse’, and doing so sooner, before women’s circumstances reach crisis point. Anyone can access the site and you can direct your client there simply by providing this hyperlink. Women who want further support to recognise the signs of an abusive partner may also benefit from one of our in-house programmes that you can refer them to via our helpline.

 

Helpline and Single Point of Contact

We offer a 24/7 helpline facility to take referrals directly from women and children, as well as agencies. Our helpline team can be contacted; via phone on 08000 194 400; via WhatsApp 9-5, Monday to Friday on 07719 558183; via live chat 9-5, Monday to Friday; and via email at referralpoint@havenrefuge.org.uk.

Community Support
We deliver support to women and children living in their own homes, with family, with the perpetrator, and those seeking alternative accommodation in the community. The team are women-centred and work with women to create individual plans. We can support women who do not speak English through translation services.

Our Community Service includes:

  • IDVAs; a professional case worker for domestic abuse victims whose primary purpose is to address the safety of ‘high risk’ victims and dependent children. IDVAs work with clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop coordinated safety plans. These plans include practical steps to protect victims and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). Within our IDVA Team sits a BAME IDVA whose case load focuses on women from a BAME background.
  • ISVA; our ISVA supports women who have been subjected to sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, working to meet their safety and support needs. This case worker offers emotional support including coping mechanisms of the impact of rape, psychological trauma, mental health and self harm. Our ISVA can also deliver court support and with understanding what to expect from the criminal system, non-molestation orders and the CPS.
  • ChISVA; Our specialist ChISVA supports children and young people who have been subjected to rape, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation at any time during their life. Our ChISVA supports clients up to the age of 17, or 25 for those with additional learning needs. Our ChISVA prioritises the safety of children, whilst working to address practical and emotional needs, and advocating on behalf of the child where needed.
  • Community Support Workers; This team focus on supporting women who are assessed as low to medium risk. The focus of the team is on addressing and maintaining the safety of women and helping them avoid escalating risk. The team also focus on emotional and practical support, as well as support with tenancy and housing rights, budgeting, and employability.
Support for women with No Recourse to Public Funds
The Haven consistently supports women with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) through a variety of services. Support includes:

  • Dedicated units of accommodation
  • In-house immigration support with leave to remain applications and through partnerships with other local organisations and solicitors
  • Whilst not all women we support with NRPF are from a BAME background, those who are can access specialist support from our BAME IDVA
  • Translation and interpretation support in-house and via external systems
  • Counselling services delivered in multiple languages (currently Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Pashto (Afghan), Arabic, Somali, Miburi, Swahili, Italian and Turkish)
Accommodation

All our secure accommodation is located anonymously across Wolverhampton. Through both communal refuges and dispersed houses and flats we support women and their dependent children. We also offer emotional and practical support from trained support workers based at each refuge location.

We know that moving to a new place can be really daunting, especially when women and children are fleeing domestic abuse. We are committed to making sure spaces are as welcoming as possible and women and children have everything they need to settle into the space and know exactly who to reach out to when they need support.

Support for women experiencing complex needs
A person with ‘complex needs’ is someone who has two or more needs affecting their physical, mental, social or financial wellbeing. Many of the women supported by the Haven have complex needs; they are often particularly vulnerable and may have experienced barriers to accessing services. Women with complex needs that we see, are facing a combination some of the following issues: mental health issues, substance misuse issues, physical health conditions, learning disabilities, homelessness, housing issues, poverty, trauma, family or relationship issues – alongside domestic abuse. As well as our specialist in house staff team that includes our counselling service and a substance abuse specialist, we also work collaboratively with other agencies to ensure women get all the support they need.
Children’s Services
We have a team trained specially to support children and young people in our accommodations and within the community. We work in partnership with agencies and families to review risks regularly and to ensure appropriate safeguards and support plans are in place. We offer one to one counselling and various creative therapy options like art, Lego, and music therapy. Our virtual reality therapy sessions include different experiences from day trips out to theme parks, to educational trips to museums or underwater diving experience learning about different marine life, to mindfulness and meditation experiences on a beach or forest. This way the children can escape to different places and experience new things. Our sensory corners and sensory walls are enjoyed by children who like tactile, visual and auditory play that enables them to explore through their senses.
Counselling , Therapy and Support Programmes

We support women and children who present with a wide range of issues ranging from depression and anxiety to more complex needs like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and severe trauma reactions to their experience.

Through our counselling services we are able to explore all of these issues with. Deeper issues with an individual can be addressed via the empty chair (Gestalt therapy), encouraging the client to ‘talk’ to the one person they hold so much in for. We offer guided therapy that is particularly useful for young people and assists with working on thoughts and behaviour associated with feelings. The feminist counselling perspective provides counsellors with the opportunity to guide clients based on their personal experience, assisting in coming together with those who have been through similar situations. Psychodynamic therapy allows deeper investigation into the childhood and historical issues, discovering the effects those may have on the here and now. Jungian therapy allows unconscious elements of the psyche into conscious thought for further discovery and meaning searching. And finally, Transactional Analysis assesses and recognises those behaviours that relate to parent adult and child roles, which can be so significant for some clients who can be ‘stuck’ in a childlike state for example.

Ultimately – these approaches coupled with the person-centred approach means that our clients are benefitting from the counselling they receive and are experiencing improvements to their mental health and general wellbeing!

Rape & Sexual Violence Hub

The Haven delivers specialist support to women subjected to sexual abuse and violence. Our dedicated team with specialist knowledge that includes child sexual exploitation include a qualified ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) to support adult women and a ChISVA to support children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse or exploitation at any point in their life. We can provide women only safe spaces and support groups. We can also provide support through court proceedings. This service is available to all women and girls and you can make a referral via email at referralpoint@havenrefuge.org.uk.

Other Harmful Cultural and Religious Practices
Often we work with women and children who have been subjected to a form of abuse where culture or religion has been used by the perpetrator to attempt to justify and normalise the abuse. Excuses such as tradition may be used by the perpetrator to uphold their behaviour and reinforce beliefs. Examples of such practices include:

  • So called ‘honour-based’ abuse where women are subjected to violence and abuse in the name of ‘upholding honour’
  • Forced marriage is the physical or emotional pressure to enter into a marriage you do not wish to enter into. This may include threats against physical safety or emotional and psychological pressure such as bringing shame to your family (linked to so called ‘honour-based’ abuse). Forced marriage is illegal in the UK.
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is undertaken mostly from birth to the age of 15. FGM can have lifelong physical impacts on women and girls, and can leave victims with severe emotional trauma.
  • Religious abuse (or spiritual abuse) can vary in forms but is the practice of subjecting individuals to abuse and violence under the guise of religious practice/norms.
  • Breast ironing is the practice of using heated objects to pound and massage the chests of pubescent girls to stop their breast tissue from forming. This often happens over a long period of time, sometimes years. As with FGM, breast ironing can leave the victim facing lifelong physical and emotional trauma

The Haven can offer support to women who have been subjected to any of the above practices.

Work in Schools
We have developed programmes aimed at preventing young people from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships. Our aim is to introduce young people to what is acceptable within a relationship and what is not acceptable to help them understand what a healthy relationship is and what consent means within a relationship.

Appreciate Me: developed to create awareness about enforcing healthy relationships while also addressing concerns such as online bullying & sexual exploitation.

MENgage/EmpowHER: developed to address the issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG). EmpowHER helps young girls to explore social, emotional and interpersonal skills for healthy relationships based on equality. MENgage helps young boys to focus on the role they can play in ending violence against women and girls. Both of these programmes encourage young people to challenge their beliefs around gender stereotypes and patriarchal ideologies about masculinity.

A donation or fundraising would be expected to cover staff costs and travel. For information and booking enquiries, or to request a callback please email training@havenrefuge.org.uk

Training & Policy Advice

Create Safer Workplaces

We believe that Domestic Abuse is a workplace issue, and we all have a collective responsibility to put an end to it. We offer a range of services to help businesses and organisations understand the role that workplaces can play, and how employers and staff can prepare themselves to manage risks and safeguard vulnerable members of staff.

Become a Business Volunteer

Supporting The Haven Wolverhampton can be both rewarding and beneficial to you, your company and your colleagues. There are lots of ways your company can get involved with us, from choosing us as your Charity of the Year, taking part in our events, donating your time or offering your expertise and services. Our dedicated team will provide your company with friendly and professional support and we’ll always find ways to work with you that best suit your business.

Get Involved

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