Nottingham Central Women’s Aid main aim is to help women and their children escape safely from abusive situations and rebuild their lives free from fear.
(All names have been changed to protect identities)
“I am very happy here for the first time in a long time and I feel safe with my child. I am glad I am not alone because I would be very depressed and the staff here are able to help me and my child”
“The staff in NCWA refuge were there for me, they were helpful and supportive I felt understood and they helped me to find solutions to my problems”
” There are so many things I love about Central Refuge, I felt at home and they showed me and my children and everyone, love and support! They understand the problems we are facing and they help you to get through it. They helped me overcome my fears and be happy again”
” Living in one room with my children turned out to be a really positive experience, we felt safe, slept well and it was a really bonding experience. I am so glad we came to live here before being permanently rehoused as it has helped me emotionally and practically. It is such a friendly and welcoming place to be”
Gemma was fleeing her family due to honour based violence and was six months pregnant when she entered our refuge. She was referred to us by her local authority as she needed to leave the area. When Gemma came into refuge she was frightened, felt isolated and was unsure about her future and that of her unborn child. She had had to cut ties with all of her family members in order to be safe.
Initially Gemma spent most of her time in her room and very rarely socialised with the other women in refuge. Her support worker spent a lot of time trying to encourage her to get involved with activities around the house to feel less isolated and vulnerable. We immediately made contact with the specialist midwife team who support women fleeing domestic violence, are homeless or seeking asylum. We also contacted the local honour based violence units.
Although Gemma is native to this country, her support worker attended all appointments with her at her request. We applied for hardship payments as she had no money and minimum possessions when entering our refuge. Slowly Gemma began mixing with the other women and found a sense of belonging.
Unfortunately, due to the stress Gemma had encountered when she fled her family, she went into labour a month early. Staff took her to hospital and supported her through her labour and birth. In preparation for the birth we appealed to our donors and supporters to make a collection and purchase items she would need for her and her new born. Due to complications from early labour Gemma remained in hospital for a few weeks. However, when she was ready to leave and we brought her back to refuge, her room was decorated, a cot was built and items for Gemma and her baby were ready to be used. The residents we had at that time were also very supportive of a new born and helped Gemma when they could.
Gemma’s support worker, along with the health visiting team, continued to supported her and her baby through the early months. Gemma is now a strong, independent woman in good health and her baby is happy and content and making good progress. With our support Gemma and her baby have now secured a new home and are embarking on the next chapter of their lives, living independently and free from fear.