Liza Thompson and Kate Bowen
A new scheme that aims to help empower female victims of domestic abuse is set to open in January.
Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse (SATEDA) will be bringing the Freedom Programme to Sheerness, thanks to a donation of £1,000 from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Groups will meet in weekly two hour sessions to help women understand why abusive men attack and help them to better protect themselves and their children.
They will also illustrate the effects of domestic violence on children, help women to recognise potential future abusers, give them self-esteem and inform them of the resources available.
The programme will last for 12 weeks in Sheerness with a second one opening in Sittingbourne after the first six weeks.
After a further six weeks, another will become available in Faversham.
Liza Thompson, service director at SATEDA, said: “We have had so many success stories.
“We had one client who was in an abusive relationship and she was still with her partner when she came to the Freedom Programme.
After about week five or six she realised she didn’t need to be living with her partner and she is no longer with him.
“That person is now working with us as a volunteer so she has gone full circle.
“It is an educational programme which gives them an overview of the tactics and beliefs of an abuser.
“Most of them have a ‘light bulb’ moment, usually around week three or four, where they realise that actually it’s not their fault and they don’t deserve to be treated that way.”
SATEDA, which is now seeking charity status, already runs a drop in centre at Sheppey Gateway, Sheerness High Street, on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm and a one-stop shop at Phoenix House in Central Avenue, Sittingbourne, every Tuesday from 9.30am to 11am.
From January it will be opening a new drop in centre at the Alexander Centre, in Preston Street, Faversham on Tuesdays from 3pm to 5pm.
The Freedom Programme is free and open to any woman who has been affected by or is experiencing domestic abuse.
A crèche can be provided.
- For more information, call 01795 417251, or email email@example.com