Our Empower Team is our domestic abuse service working in Gateshead to provide women with the support they need to recover and move beyond the impact of domestic abuse.

Holly shares what a typical day in the life of a domestic abuse worker looks like.

“This morning started with a visit to a young woman’s home. Together we completed a review of the risks and created a support plan. She is in the process of family court, which she is finding stressful – being there for her at this time is so important.

“She recently reported historic abuse, although the police investigated they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue it, which was disappointing for her and another thing to have to work through. We talked through police thresholds and processes for reviews last time we spoke and today the client told me, after our last meeting, she had decided to request the police review their decision.

“As I got into the car to my next appointment, I picked up an incoming call, it was a woman we’d previously worked with reaching out for support. She needed some advice as her abusive ex-partner was back in touch; being friendly and asking for favours.

“It can be difficult for women to know how to respond in those situations. We talked through the risks around this and the cycle of abuse she had been stuck in with him before. We talked through some safety tips, such as blocking his number if she felt safe to do this, and talked through what positives she would get from having contact with her ex again and what problems she could face. Before I ended the call, we made a plan for me to check in again next week.”

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“I headed to my next appointment with a client who isn’t able to attend our Empower group, but wants some support in understanding aspects of domestic abuse and safety planning. A one to one session gives us both the opportunity to connect and support her to work through the knowledge she needs.

“In today’s session we explored the impact living with domestic abuse has on children.

“As I drove home to complete paperwork, a text came in from a young woman we’re working with asking if I could chase up the police – she was waiting to hear back from them. I called on her behalf and arranged an in-person meeting.

“Every day is different. Some days people need a sounding board or a listening ear and sometimes it’s the practical advice and support that makes the difference.  I’m really grateful we’re here doing this role and providing the daily support women facing and recovering from domestic abuse need.”

If you’d like to support the work of people like Holly, please head to our regular giving page and donate today.