Bedfordshire Domestic Violence Support Groups
Do you believe that every woman and child deserves a life free from domestic violence?
Our family and children’s charity provides crucial domestic abuse and domestic violence support groups for women in Bedfordshire. We believe that all women and children deserve a life free from domestic violence and abuse. Home-Start supports women who are suffering from an abusive relationship. We also support survivors who are no longer victims of domestic abuse. Find out more about our confidential domestic abuse and domestic violence support groups below.
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Domestic Violence Against Women
- 1 in 4 women in England will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes 
- Between April 2013 to March 2014 there were 2698 incidents of domestic abuse in Central Bedfordshire 
- Between April 2013 to March 2014, 41% of domestic abuse incidents in Central Bedfordshire were noted to have a child present – this does not necessarily mean that a child has actually witnessed the incident but that a child (or children) is normally resident at the location. 
So what does our charity do about this? It’s our charity’s aim to support every woman who asks for our help. Once free from their abuser, they can build better lives for themselves and their child/children.
We support women in the home where it is safe to do so, in Refuge and leaving Refuge when the family is being resettled. Outside of the household, Home-Start Central Bedfordshire runs a variety of domestic abuse and domestic violence support groups and projects throughout the year. Confidentiality is always our priority to ensure the victim’s privacy.
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Victims Of Domestic Abuse
Several years ago we founded the first Domestic Abuse Forum in South Bedfordshire together with Tithe Farm Neighbourhood Centre in Houghton Regis. The forum aimed to raise awareness of domestic abuse and domestic violence against women.
Following this, we set up and ran the Freedom Programme in Leighton Buzzard for five years. This was in response to the number of referrals we received where domestic abuse in the household was an issue. The programme provides information for victims of domestic violence and abuse. It examines the roles played by attitudes, beliefs and the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. Due to its success, it was taken up by Central Bedfordshire Council and is now run across the area. See our latest projects and updates on our charity news page and in our domestic abuse news archive.
From our charity’s many years of experience providing domestic abuse & domestic violence support groups, we realised there was a need not only to free people from a domestic abuse situation but also to give them the tools they need to take back the power over their own lives.
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“The Freedom Programme has really helped me move on after my ex and start a new life for me and the kids.”
“It feels good to know you are not crazy and that it is not my fault.”
Survivors of Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse
Building confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness, boundaries and breaking cycles of abusive relationships. Pattern Changing is a ten-week programme with a one-week follow-up after two months. The purpose of the course is to help women who have experienced domestic abuse. We help survivors regain confidence and self-esteem, explore personal experiences and learn practical strategies to gain empowerment. This is with the aim to change negative patterns of behaviour into positive ones.
Topics covered are:
- Your human rights and women’s rights
- The impact of a difficult childhood
- Living with abuse and why it is hard to leave
- Exploring relationships with children and young people
- Anger, guilt and grief
- Boundary setting
- Healthy relationships
- Future goal setting.
Evaluation of the programme has been very positive with women reporting significant improvements in their confidence, ability to act assertively and a greater understanding of their relationship with others. Pattern Changing has proved to be really popular and has been externally evaluated by the University of Bedfordshire with excellent results. We hope to be able to run this highly effective programme for many years to come.
“The skills I have learned are life changing…I would definitely recommend this course as not only has it started to change and impact on my mind emotionally it also brought people into my life who are positive and safe and understanding.”
DAY is a unique multimedia programme. It uses short films, advertisements and chart music to raise awareness and provide education about domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation. The programme challenges detrimental mindsets about abuse and exploitation. It also explores how beliefs inform behaviour and the role of the media in reinforcing unhealthy beliefs. DAY is based on the Freedom Programme and is designed to be used with young people over the age of 14. As well as being adaptable for use with young people over 11 years.
 Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2013/14
 Domestic Abuse Data – Bedfordshire Police – April 2014
 Central Bedfordshire Council Domestic Abuse
Helping Hands is a preventative education programme developed by Women’s Aid Northern Ireland. Its overall aim is to increase children’s understanding of feeling safe and to explore and promote behaviours which will contribute to a safe environment.
The objectives of the course are to:
- Develop children’s levels of self-esteem and confidence
- Enable children to explore and express feelings
- Inform children of the right to feel safe at all times
- Increase children’s ability in safety planning
- Empower children to identify their own personal support network
- Explore how choice of behaviour can affect the feelings of others
- Identify healthy ways to manage conflict
This helps children to express strong feelings without violence and practice non-violent problem-solving skills.
Fundraise & Donate
Help us reach and support more women in Bedfordshire suffering from domestic violence and abuse. Visit our fundraising page for ideas. Any funds donated or raised, however small, are greatly appreciated.