Julian House, with the support of B&NES council, has invested its own reserves into developing services for those who have been impacted by domestic abuse. The services which include a refuge, the Freedom Programme and a domestic abuse ex-offenders project provide high quality accommodation and support.
In 2012 Julian House, in conjunction with nine other agencies through the Action for Women Group, conducted research into what women’s experiences of services in Bath and North East Somerset were and what gaps needed to be filled. Service User experiences are at the centre of how we are shaping our services both now and in the future. Our experience of working with women in the accommodation led to our delivery of the Freedom Programme. Freedom promotes positive changes and recovery for women and their children in a supportive environment. Three times a year we run a rolling 12 week course for women who have experience domestic abuse and provide crèche facilities for their children to enable attendance. Please see Freedom Programme for more information. Through listening to service users, we also now run The Crush a young people’s programme specifically targeting the needs of younger women who are under 25 years old. We are always looking for individuals or partners who can commit time to supporting us in running the programme. We are able to offer volunteers full guidance and support. You can find out more about RENEW here.
Controlling relationships are destructive and confusing, affecting all areas of family life. The following is feedback from women who have attended the programme:
“It’s helping me to re-establish what a positive partner is like as the view becomes distorted over time when you’re with an awful person.”
“My eyes have been opened, and now I know it wasn’t my fault.”
“I feel stronger now and in charge of my own destiny.”
“It is so good to know I am not alone.”
“I understand the tactics of controlling behaviour now and would recognise the signs in future.”
“Makes you realise you are not going mad and that you have the right to make the best decisions for yourself and your kids.”